Andy Williams, the easy-listening, smooth vocal artist best known for his 1961 signature rendition of the song, “Moon River,” has died at his home in Missouri after a bout with cancer, according to his publicist. He was 84 years old.
Howard Andrew Williams began performing with his older brothers as an eight-year-old boy in Iowa. As a young adult in the early 1950’s he was a struggling solo artist until he landed a two-year gig on the Tonight Show and a contract with Cadence Records. He rose to fame in 1956 with the hit swing song, “Canada Sunset.”
At the height of America’s sexual revolution and obsession with rock and roll, Williams was a clean-cut, wholesome star. The success of “Moon River” led to “The Andy Williams Show” which ran on NBC from 1962 to 1971. Williams performed for 74 years and had 18 gold and three platinum records, and five Grammy award nominations.
Last November he announced his bladder cancer diagnosis on stage at the “Andy Williams Moon River Theater” in Branson, Missouri.
Andy Williams is survived by his wife Debbie and three children.