Emmy-winning TV host and "Moon River" crooner Andy Williams has died
Web Producer: Laura Kittell
BRANSON, Mo. (KGUN9-TV/AP) - Emmy-winning TV host and "Moon River" crooner Andy Williams has died at age 84.
Williams' publicist, Paul Shefrin, said Wednesday that the silky-voiced singer died Tuesday night at his home in Branson, Mo., following a year-long battle with bladder cancer.
Williams said in November 2011 that he was diagnosed with bladder cancer but planned to continue performing at the namesake theater he built in Branson in 1992.
The clean-cut Iowa native began singing with his brothers as a child, and his easy style and mellow voice led President Ronald Reagan to call Williams "a national treasure." Though his version of "Moon River" made him world famous, it was among his many hits, including "Butterfly" and "Can't Get Used to Losing You."
During the 1960s, Williams became one of the most popular vocalists in the country and was signed to what was at that time the biggest recording contract in history. He was primarily an album artist, and at one time he had earned more gold albums than any solo performer except Frank Sinatra, Johnny Mathis and Elvis Presley.
By 1973 Andy Williams had earned 18 gold album awards. Among his hit albums from this period were Moon River, Days of Wine and Roses, The Andy Williams Christmas Album, Dear Heart, and Love Story.
These recordings, along with his natural affinity for the music of the 1960s and early 1970s, combined to make him one of the premier easy listening singers of that era.
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