Bobby Vee, 'Rubber Ball' singer, dies at 73

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Pop singer Bobby Vee, whose string of hits included "Rubber Ball," "Devil or Angel," "Take Good Care of My Baby" and "Run to Him," died Monday, the St. Cloud, Minnesota, Times reported. He was 73.

Vee, who had been in hospice care, died of complications from Alzheimer's disease, which he was diagnosed with in 2011.

"It's kind of a blessing," Vee's physician Dr. Rick Rysavy told the paper. "There was no reason for him to suffer any longer."

Born Robert Velline in Fargo, North Dakota, Vee got his big break as a teenager, after a plane crash killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper, and Vee and his band were tapped to fill in at a concert tour stop.

See photos of Bobby Vee:

21 PHOTOS
Bobby Vee throughout his life
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Bobby Vee throughout his life
Pop singer Bobby Vee. (Photo by Michael Levin/Corbis via Getty Images)
UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 01: MANCHESTER SQUARE Photo of Bobby VEE, Posed portrait of Bobby Vee (Photo by CA/Redferns)
Bobby Vee sings a duet with Alan Smith 21, who is a resident at the Searchlight Cripples Home at Newhaven in Sussex, which he visited Monday 12th November 1962. (Photo by Daily Mirror/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images)
Portrait of singer Bobby Vee wearing a suit and tie, 1962. (Photo by Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED - JANUARY 01: Photo of Bobby VEE; Posed studio portrait of Bobby Vee (Photo by Grant Goddard/Redferns)
Bobby Vee, Dusty Springfield and Big Dee Irwin share the sweets thrown out during the interval of their one night stand show at the Odeon in Manchester. 5th March 1964. (Photo by Daily Mirror/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1970: Photo of Bobby Vee Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Portrait of singer Bobby Vee entering a bus at London Airport, February 22nd 1964. (Photo by Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1970: Photo of Bobby Vee Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1970: Photo of Bobby Vee Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1970: Photo of Bobby Vee Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1970: Photo of Bobby Vee Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
DICK CLARK PRESENTS THE ROCK & ROLL YEARS - Airdate: November 28, 1973. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) L-R: BOBBY VEE;FABIAN;BOBBY RYDELL;DICK CLARK
UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1970: Photo of Bobby Vee Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Bobby Vee in outdoor portrait, 1959-61 (Photo by Visions of America/UIG via Getty Images)
Musician Bobby Vee sings his hit "Rubber Ball" after accepting the Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Award at the North Dakota Capitol on Sunday, June 20, 1999 in Bismarck, ND. The award is the state's higest honor. (AP Photo/Will Kincaid)
In this photo made Dec. 18, 2013, Bobby Vee poses with his wife, Karen, at their home in Cold Spring, Minn. Alzheimer's disease forced the 1960s pop idol Vee to stop performing in 2011 and now 70, Vee is releasing an album that may be the capstone to his career, entitled "The Adobe Sessions." (AP Photo/Jeff Baenen)
FILE - In this Dec. 18, 2013 file photo, Bobby Vee poses at the studio console at his family's Rockhouse Productions in St. Joseph, Minn. Vee, whose rise toward stardom began as a 15-year-old fill-in for Buddy Holly after Holly was killed in a plane crash, died Monday Oct. 24, 2016 of complications from Alzheimer's disease. He was 73. (AP Photo/Jeff Baenen, File)
UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 01: PALLADIUM Photo of Bobby VEE (Photo by Nicky J. Sims/Redferns)
UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 01: PALLADIUM Photo of Bobby VEE (Photo by Nicky J. Sims/Redferns)
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Dozens of hits followed for Vee in the 1960s, including "Suzie Baby" and "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes."

Vee last performed live on July 3, 2011, months after being diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's.

Funeral arrangements for Vee are pending.

Read original story Bobby Vee, 'Rubber Ball' Singer, Dies at 73 At TheWrap

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