Singer/songwriter Andrew Gold has passed away at the age of 59.
The musician died at his home in Los Angeles on Friday (03Jun11), according to his sister, Melani Gold Friedman.
Gold, son of Oscar-winning composer Ernest Gold and famed movie song dubber Marni Nixon, began his career working with Linda Ronstadt, who he met as a student when she played at his high school with her band, and the singer was among the first to pay tribute.
She tells the Los Angeles Times, "Andrew was so enormously talented it almost seemed effortless. He was a real cornerstone of those early records."
Gold went on to enjoy solo success in the 1970s, with hits including Lonely Boy, Never Let Her Slip Away, which featured Freddie Mercury on backing vocals, and Thank You for Being a Friend, which became famous as the theme tune to TV comedy The Golden Girls.
He later stepped behind the scenes again to work with stars including Art Garfunkel, Sir Paul MCCartney, Brian Wilson, Don Henley, Cher, Celine Dion and Joni Mitchell.
Gold enjoyed a second turn in the spotlight in the 1980s when he formed Wax UK with former 10cc star Graham Gouldman.
In addition to his sisters, Melani and Martha, Gold is survived by his mother, his wife, Leslie Kogan, and daughters Emily, Victoria and Olivia from his first marriage to Vanessa Gold.
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.