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Pat DiNizio, The Smithereens Lead Singer, Dies at 62

TheWrap logo TheWrap 12/13/2017 Debbie Emery
a man holding a microphone: Pat DiNizio Smithereens © TheWrap Pat DiNizio Smithereens

Pat DiNizio, lead singer of The Smithereens, has died. He was 62.

The death of the singer, songwriter and founding member of the band was announced on his Facebook page Tuesday night.

"It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Pat DiNizio, lead singer and songwriter of the influential New Jersey rock band, The Smithereens - America's Band," the post said.

"Pat was looking forward to getting back on the road and seeing his many fans and friends. Please keep Pat in your thoughts and prayers."

Formed in Carteret, New Jersey, by DiNizio Jim Babjak, Dennis Diken and Mike Mesaros, The Smithereens had a string of hits in the '80s and '90s including "Only a Memory," "A Girl Like You" and "Too Much Passion."

The band's name was inspired a Yosemite Sam catchphrase, "Varmint, I'm a-gonna blow you to smithereens!"

DiNizio was one of the first musicians to throw his support behind XM Satellite Radio, becoming host and program director for the XM Radio Unsigned station in 2001. He was also an inaugural member of the Independent Music Awards' judging panel to support independent artists.

He went on to release a number of solo works such as "Sounds and Songs," "This is Pat DiNizio," and "Revolutions."

DiNizio also had an unsuccessful run for the New Jersey seat of the United States Senate in 2000.

His cause of death has not yet been revealed.

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