Jack Ely – the rock singer best known for his recording of the 1963 hit "Louie, Louie" – passed away today at his home in Oregon. He was 71 years old.
"Louie, Louie" was a number one hit and made Ely’s band, the Kingsmen, one of the most in-demand acts in the US.
Following a disagreement with the other members, however, Ely left the band that just months after the song took off.
But despite his abrupt departure from the Kingsmen, "Louie, Louie" would follow Ely – for better or worse – for the rest of his life.
The song was the subject of a several-year FBI investigation, as many believed that Ely’s slurred singing style was being used to conceal obscene lyrics.
To this day, the meaning of the song is widely debated.
Ely’s follow-up band, the Courtmen, released several singles, including a "sequel song" entitled "Louie, Louie ’66."
They failed to find success, and Ely was conscripted into the army in 1967. When he returned from Vietnam a year later, he found that his popularity had declined, and he lost himself in drug and alcohol addiction.
In later years, Ely spoke out against substance abuse as a member of Rockers Against Drugs.
Ely had been suffering from an unknown illness for several years. His son, Sean Ely, stated that his father refused to disclose the nature of his ailment "due to his religious beliefs."
Click through our complete list of celebrities we lost in 2015 in the gallery below.