TORONTO – Former Canadian teen idol and singer Bobby Curtola has died. He was 73.
His death was announced Sunday in a statement from his children, who called Curtola “an amazing man who did so much for the people in this world.”
A teen idol in Canada during the early ’60s, Curtola also made his mark internationally in 1962 with the singles “Fortune Teller” and “Aladdin.”
Curtola, who was born in what is now Thunder Bay, Ont., was named to the Order of Canada in 1997.
He was also known for his charity work, particularly for children.
In a statement issued through Curtola’s Facebook and Twitter pages, Chris Curtola and Michael Curtola said their father loved his fans.
“He loved each and every one of you more than you will know, and never took for granted the life you gave him. He would want you to do something kind for one another today and each day,” the statement said. “He would also want you to know he loves you, and that you have another angel watching over you.”
A number of those fans took to social media upon hearing of Curtola’s death to remember the singer.
“I’m shocked and heartbroken, the man was an icon,” tweeted one man.
“You were such a big piece of my early years. You were my first big crush,” a woman said on Curtola’s Facebook page.
Curtola’s career began at 16, after he recorded his first hit single “Hand in Hand With You.”
He went on to establish the first coast to coast tour circuit in Canada, his website said. He released one of his biggest hits, “Fortune Teller” in 1962.
Curtola’s work in the 1960s yielded 25 Canadian Gold singles and 12 Canadian Gold albums, according to a biography on his website.
In 1972 he was signed to a five-year contract in Las Vegas, making him the first Canadian entertainer to receive a long term deal in the city, according to his website.
Later in his career he began a relationship with The Princess Cruises, performing on ships in the Caribbean and Mediterranean for twelve years.
Curtola received a Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002 and a Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012, according to the Canadian Encyclopedia.