Reg Presley Dies: Lead Troggs Singer Dies at 71 After Battling Cancer
Reg Presley, lead singer of the 1960s British rock group The Troggs, died on Feb. 4 at his home in Hampshire. He was 71.
His death was confirmed by his daughter Karen on the pop culture website WENN. "He passed away peacefully at home and myself, my brother and our mother were with him," she said. "We're absolutely heartbroken."
Just one year ago, Presley had announced that he would retire from music after falling ill at a concert and doctors having detected lung cancer.
Presley found success with The Troggs through much of the 1960s with songs like "With a Girl Like You" and "Love is All Around," which was parodied by actor Bill Nighy in the 2003 Christmas-themed romantic comedy Love Actually.
However, Presley and his fellow bandmates, including Chris Britton, Pete Staples and Ronnie Bond, finally broke stateside with their cover of the now classic "Wild Thing." The song climbed all the way to the top of the Billboard list in July 1966. And today, The Troggs' rendition of "Wild Thing" is currently ranked #261 in Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
Born Reginald Maurice Ball in Andover, Hampshire in 1941, he would later adopt his famous surname thanks to music broadcaster Keith Altham. Not long after Presley's death was confirmed, Altham posted a touching homage to his friend on Facebook.com yesterday: "He was one very real person in a sometimes very unreal world. Our thoughts are with his wife Brenda and the family and [the] legion of fans who loved his music and his band. I will miss him hugely."
Aside from his passion for making music, Presley was also an active alien researcher with a particular specialty in crop circles and he devoted much of his later years to signs of extra-terrestrial life.