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Alan O’Day, who crafted popular songs for artists like The Righteous Brothers and Helen Reddy before scoring a No. 1 of his own with the bouncy 1977 hit “Undercover Angel,” lost his battle with cancer on Friday, his record label announced. He was 72.
The songwriter, producer and artist died at his home in Westwood, Calif., surrounded by family and friends.
“Alan continued to write and perform until his last days,” a statement from 1st Phase Records reads. “Alan was a generous man who gave his heart and soul to the music industry.”
The sentiment was echoed by O’Day’s close friend, award-winning songwriter Diane Warren: “My dear, dear friend and mentor Alan O’Day has passed away. ‘If you believe in forever, then life is just a one-night stand. If there’s a rock and roll heaven, well you know they’ve got one hell of a band.’ (From Alan’s song ‘Rock and Roll Heaven.’) Well the band just got better. Rest in Peace, my friend.”
O’Day signed with Warner Bros. in 1971, later writing “Train of Thought” for Cher, “Rock and Roll Heaven” for The Righteous Brothers, and the 1974 No. 1 “Angel Baby” by Helen Reddy. Three years later, he landed at the top of the Hot 100 with his own single “Undercover Angel.”
In the 1980s, O’Day teamed up with Janis Liebhart to co-write dozens of songs for the popular Muppet Babies cartoons.
Throughout his career, O’Day’s songs were performed by artists ranging from Johnny Mathis, the 5th Dimension, Tom Jones, Dusty Springfield, Tony Orlando, Three Dog Night and Paul Anka, among others.
O’Day is survived by his wife, Yuka. Funeral services are pending.
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