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Alex Chilton: Remembering A 'Star'-Crossed Singer

Alex Chilton died yesterday of an apparent heart attack in New Orleans. Chilton was the lead singer of rock group Big Star, which formed in Memphis in the 1970s. Though they never quite made it big while they were active, the band became an underground legend. Chilton and Big Star were revered by the generation of musicians and fans that came after their short career; The Replacements wrote a song fantasizing that Chilton was a superstar, beloved by millions.

As a teenager Chilton had several hits with his band The Box Tops, and after Big Star broke up, he continued to release solo records. In the '90s, he re-formed Big Star with drummer Jody Stephens to tour; the group was scheduled to perform this weekend at the South by Southwest music conference in Austin, Texas.

One of the most welcome reissues of last year was Keep an Eye on the Sky, a four-disc collection of Big Star's recordings, demos and outtakes. In remembrance of Chilton's career, we rebroadcast Ed Ward's review of the box set.

Copyright 2023 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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