Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
"Into The Night" Singer/Songwriter Benny Mardones Dies At 73
Benny Mardones, the singer/songwriter known for his vocal range, songwriting and his 1980 track "Into the Night," has died at the age of 73.
Mardones died on Monday, June 29, in his Menifee, California home from complications after a lengthy battle with Parkinson's disease. He died peacefully with his wife, Jane, at his side, his official Twitter said.
Mardones co-wrote his biggest hit "Into the Night" off his 1980 album Never Run Never Hide with singer/songwriter Robert Tepper. The song's controversial lyrics, "She's just sixteen years old," came about after Tepper made a comment about the 16-year-old girl who used to walk Mardones' basset hound. In an interview with KTLA some time before his death, Mardones says he told Tepper, "She's just 16 years old, leave her alone."
The song made the Billboard charts three different times. "It's been very good to me," Mardones said in the interview.
Born in Cleveland on Nov. 9, 1946 but raised in Savage, Md., Mardones knew he wanted to make music at a young age. Elvis inspired him as a boy and he had his own group as a teen.
He spent some brief time in the Navy during Vietnam before moving to New York City, meeting music producer Joel Diamond, who was president of CBS Publishing at the time, and co-writing "Too Heavy To Carry" with Alan Miles. Brenda Lee recorded the song two weeks after it was written. Together, Miles and Mardones went on to write songs for several music artists.
Mardones would go on to perform live and record his own music. Before making his hit "Into the Night," he faced challenges making waves with his 1979 debut titled Thank God for Girls. Too Much To Lose, the 1981 album following Never Run Never Hide was also unsuccessful, in part due to his drug addiction. The singer did not produce massively distributed music for years after but following the birth of his son, Michael, he revived his music career and released several more albums.
Before his death, Mardones paid tribute to those infected with COVID-19 through a "United We Stand Tribute," song produced by Diamond and featuring Teresa James .
Mardones is survived by his wife, son, and sister Louise.