ST. PAUL, Minn. – Former 1960s teen pop idol Bobby Vee says he’s been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
The 69-year-old, born Robert Velline in Fargo, North Dakota, says on his website that he was diagnosed last year.
Vee was catapulted to stardom after the deaths of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and JP “Big Bopper” Richardson in a 1959 plane crash en route to Moorhead, Minn. Vee and his friends filled in for the trio at the Moorhead performance and soon after that he recorded his first single, “Suzie Baby,” for Soma Records in Minneapolis.
The St. Paul Pioneer Press (http://bit.ly/Jzm8cX ) says Vee’s wife of 48 years, Karen Velline, is also dealing with health issues. She’s on a waiting list for a lung transplant.