LOS ANGELES (Reuters Life!) - The Knack’s lead singer Doug Fieger, who co-wrote the 1979 hit song “My Sharona,” died on Sunday, aged 57, after battling lung cancer for six years.
His family said in a statement that Fieger passed away at his home in Woodland Hills, California, after outliving his doctors’ prognoses “for many, many years.”
“Doug did not suffer. He is in a better place. And wherever he is, his love and music will continue to shower down upon all of us who remain in this mortal coil, forever,” said his brother Geoffrey Fieger and sister Beth Falkenstein.
The other members of the new wave rock band The Knack, that was formed in 1977, paid tribute to the Detroit-born singer/songwriter.
“Our hearts are broken, we will miss you Doug,” they wrote on the band’s website Knack.com.
Fieger was one of four founding members of The Knack which built a large following in the Los Angeles club scene of the late 1970s. The band’s debut album, “Get The Knack,” which included “My Sharona,” was recorded in 11 days for $17,000. It was the first of six studio albums.
Capitol Records, home of the Beatles, pulled out all the stops promoting the album and Rolling Stone magazine referred to the band as “the new fab four.”
Billboard named “My Sharona” the No. 1 single of 1979 after it held the No. 1 slot for six weeks.
The song has been covered by numerous artists and returned to music charts in 1994 after it was included on the soundtrack for the hit movie “Reality Bites.”
Fieger co-wrote “My Sharona” with bandmate Berton Averre after being initially rebuffed by a teenage girl of that name in 1978. She was 17 and at high school at the time and he was 26.
Fieger told People magazine in 1995 he had hoped she would be flattered by such lines as “I always get it up for the touch of the younger kind.”
She eventually dumped her boyfriend, joined Fieger on tour, graduated from high school and became a rock-star girlfriend for three years.
The woman, Sharona Alperin, has been selling real estate to entertainment industry clients in Los Angeles for over 20 years.
Feiger’s family said a memorial would be held in Los Angeles for relatives and close friends.
Reporting by Lisa Baertlein and Dean Goodman; Editing by Peter Cooney