Listening to the signature song of the 60s group the Box Tops, "The Letter," it's hard to believe the "man" singing lead was only 16. Another big hit, "Soul Deep," makes that seem more implausible.
The boy with the full-grown voice was Alex Chilton. He died March 17th of a heart attack.
After life in the Box Tops, Chilton formed a critically acclaimed group, Big Star. In the 80s he went on to a solo career. His influence was such that the Replacements recorded a song about him on their landmark 1987 album Pleased to Meet Me. "I'm in love," they sang on "Alex Chilton, "what's that song? I'm in love with that song."
Alex Chilton was just 59.