Singer April Stevens dies
Singer April Stevens - who scored a chart hit with a cover of Deep Purple - has died at the age of 93
Singer April Stevens has died at the age of 93.
The Grammy Award-winning star passed away on April 17 at her home in Scottsdale, Arizona. The sad news was confirmed by April's stepson Gary Perman but no more details about her death have been made public.
April was born Caroline Vincinette LoTiempo in New York State and grew up with her younger brother Antonino, known as Nino, who was the first in the family to step into show business by performing with the Benny Goodman Orchestra when he was a child.
The family moved to Los Angeles to help their son pursue his dream of a career in music and he went on to become a jazz saxophonist playing with artists including Bobby Darin while his sister launched a singing career using the name April Stevens.
She recorded a number of tracks including her 1959 release 'Teach Me Tiger' which was co-written by her brother and was later used by bosses at NASA to wake up astronauts on the space shuttle.
The siblings later teamed up to form a brother- and-sister musical duo as April Stevens and Nino Tempo and they ended up recording a version of jazz standard 'Deep Purple' in a rushed 15-minute session with Atlantic Records heavyweight Ahmet Ertegun, who had signed them to his label.
The song was released in September 1963 and became the first version of the track to hit the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in November that year.
It sold more than a million copies and earned the siblings a Grammy award for Best Rock and Roll Recording.
The pair's follow-up hits included 'Whispering', 'All Strung Out' and 'The Coldest Night of the Year' while April went on to score solo hits with her songs 'Wanting You' and 'Falling in Love Again'.
April later retired from music while Nino continued working as a saxophonist. She released an autobiography called 'Teach Me Tiger' in 2013.
The singer is survived by her husband William Perman - who she married in 1985 - as well as her brother, two stepsons Gary and Robert, and two stepdaughters, Laura LeMoine and Lisa Price.