February 29, 2012


The Monkees' Davy Jones Dead at 66

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Davy Jones, actor and lead singer of popular 1960s pop rock group the Monkees, died today at the age of 66 from a heart attack.

A rep for the singer confirmed the news to TMZ shortly after the site published its initial report.

Jones was born in Manchester and began his acting career at 11, appearing on the UK soap opera Coronation Street. After earning a Tony award nomination for his role of The Artful Dodger in Oliver!, the 20-year-old performer joined the Monkees in 1965 and remained the group's lead singer until 1971. At the time, Jones was so popular, he caused another fledgling singer named David Jones to change his last name to Bowie to avoid confusion.

In the late 1960s, the Monkees were one of America's most popular bands. Originally conceived as a response to the Beatles, songs like "I'm a Believer," "Last Train to Clarksville" and "Daydream Believer" became huge hits, with the group eventually selling more than 65 million records worldwide.

The group's television show, which ran from 1966 to 1968, followed the quartet's Marx Brothers-styled antics, taking a cue from the Beatles' Hard Day's Night, but forging a distinct style with its use of then-innovative techniques such as talking directly to the camera.

How does a 33-year-old writer know so much about a show that ended 40 years ago? For many Gen X-ers, the group became a cult hit when MTV and Nickelodeon began re-airing episodes daily, exposing the band to a new generation. 

While fellow Monkee Mike Nesmith would later disassociate himself from the group, Jones would frequently tour in later years with original members Mickey Dolenz and Peter Tork.

He is survived by his wife Jessica and four daughters.

Remember the brilliance of Jones with our Davy Jones/The Monkees Spotify Playlist.

The Monkees - "Daydream Believer"