A songwriter, guitarist, singer and producer Alex Chilton was the lead singer of the Box Tops and Big Star. He had a strong local following that often cites him as influence. His most famous song The Letter “showcased Chilton’s remarkable voice, as he growled and wailed like a black singer many years older.” It topped the US chart and became a huge worldwide hit (reaching No 5 in the UK). (The Guardian).
He moved to New Orleans in the 1980’s and lived a calm existence, reportedly working occasionally as a dishwasher. Brent Grulke director of SXSW, said: “Alex Chilton was an artist of the very highest caliber. It’s too early to do much but cry about our loss right now, but he’ll be missed, and missed more as the ages pass and his myth continues to expand — that music isn’t going anywhere.”