The Tragic Death Of Singer Bobby Rydell

Bobby Rydell, 1960s teen idol and star of the 1963 film "Bye Bye Birdie," has died at the age of 79. Born Robert Ridarelli on April 26, 1942, the star died on April 5, just weeks shy of what would have been his 80th birthday.

Per an announcement made on his official Facebook page, Rydell's death has been attributed to pneumonia. This wasn't the star's first brush with a serious illness, though — in fact, quite the contrary. In 2012, he told CBS Philly that, prior to undergoing a liver-kidney transplant, his doctor had predicted he had "maybe a month" to live. As such, the official announcement of Rydell's death reiterated the importance of organ donation, stating, "Rydell lived to be 79 years old through the gift of organ donation," and urging fans to become donors.

Since news broke of Rydell's death, countless celebrities have voiced their admiration of him. DJ Jerry Blavat spoke of his friend's talents to The Philadelphia Inquirer, claiming, "He could have been as big as Bobby Darin, but he didn't want to leave Philadelphia." Meanwhile, Tommy James of Tommy James and the Shondells shared via Twitter that he was "deeply saddened by the loss of Bobby Rydell, a good friend and one of my idols."

Bobby Rydell may have died, but his legend will live on

While Bobby Rydell has died, his impact will live on forever. In fact, he's already been immortalized in more ways than many may realize. Dubbed by Variety as one of the world's original teen idols, Rydell's icon status was cemented in "Grease," with the film's characters as students at Rydell High School. In an interview with The Morning Call, Rydell revealed that he was humbled by the gesture. "Oh, I mean, what an honor!" he exclaimed. "I said, 'Why me?' It could have been Anka High, Presley High, Everly High ... and they came up with Rydell High."

Rydell was also immortalized in the 2018 film "Green Book," which depicted his legendary performance at Copacabana at the age of 19. As the Facebook statement pointed out, at the time, "he became the youngest singer to perform" at the famed establishment.

Among countless other cultural references — such as The Beatles' hit "She Loves You," which as Vulture pointed out, was a response to Rydell's "Swingin' School" — further preserving Rydell's memory is his own repertoire of hits. Per Billboard, the singer had no less than 29 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 over his career. He also starred in a number of films, including "Marco Polo Junior" and, of course, "Bye Bye Birdie." Rydell may be gone, but he certainly won't be forgotten anytime soon.