Monkees Singer Davy Jones Dies in Florida at 66

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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Davy Jones, the lead singer of the 1960s group The Monkees, died of a massive heart attack Wednesday in Florida, his spokeswoman said. He was 66.

His publicist, Helen Kensick, confirmed that he died in Indiantown, where he lived.

Jones rose to fame in 1965 when he joined The Monkees, a British popular rock group formed for a U.S. television show. Jones sang lead vocals on songs like "I Wanna Be Free" and "Daydream Believer."

Jones was born Dec. 30, 1945, in Manchester, England. His long hair and British accent helped Jones achieve heartthrob status in the United States.

According to The Monkees website, Monkees.com, he left the band in late 1970. In the summer of 1971, he recorded a solo hit "Rainy Jane" and made a series of appearances on American variety and television shows, including "Love American Style" and "The Brady Bunch."

Jones played himself in a widely popular Brady Bunch episode, which aired in late 1971. In the episode, Marcia Brady, president of her school's Davy Jones fan club, promised she could get him to sing at a school dance.

By the mid-1980s, Jones teamed up with former Monkee Peter Tork, Micky Dolenz and promoter David Fishof for a reunion tour. Their popularity prompted MTV to re-air The Monkees series, introducing the group to a new audience.

In 1987, Jones, Tork and Micky Dolenz recorded a new album, "Pool It." Two years later, the group received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In the late 1990s, the group filmed a special called "Hey, Hey, It's the Monkees."

He is survived by his wife, Jessica.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All rights reserved.

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