'I Love Rock 'n' Roll' songwriter Alan Merrill dies after coronavirus diagnosis

Alan Merrill

Rocker Alan Merrill, who wrote and recorded the original version of the hit song "I Love Rock 'n' Roll," died on Sunday in New York after being...

Posted: Mar 30, 2020 12:57 PM
Updated: Mar 30, 2020 1:47 PM

Rocker Alan Merrill, who wrote and recorded the original version of the hit song "I Love Rock 'n' Roll," died on Sunday in New York after being diagnosed with coronavirus, his daughter told CNN.

Merrill, 69, was a big star in Japan in the 1970s and wrote and recorded the anthem "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" in 1975 with his band The Arrows. He wrote the song with bandmate Jake Hooker, who died in 2014.

Joan Jett & the Blackhearts covered the song in 1982 and the single shot to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 and was certified platinum by the Recording Industry of America Association.

Laura Merrill told CNN that her dad was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Saturday morning and immediately put on a ventilator because he had a fever and was struggling to breathe.

He'd had a cold for about 10 days and had self-quarantined at his home as a precaution.

"He was still, you know, playing ball with his dog on his patio ... and you know, kind of doing his usual stuff until he just woke up and couldn't breathe," she said.

That night, her sister texted to say his vital signs were failing and that family members could visit him for two minutes to say goodbye.

"When I got to the hospital, my stepmother was there and had been in with him and they said, his vitals were better. So we were hopeful again," she said. "So I went in and comforted him and told him that his whole family loved him and rubbed his head."

After the visit she walked home to clear her head and because she didn't want to risk exposing a cab driver to the virus.

When she got home she said her sister let her know that he died while being transferred to the ICU after his coronavirus test came back positive.

"It's just been a big shock to the entire family and you know, you don't think coronavirus is going to happen to you," she said. "You hear about it, it's something people joke about online and, and it's just, you know, it's real, it's real and it's affecting people and people are dying."

Alan Merrill was 69, which put him in a vulnerable group, but his daughter said he was healthy and had been playing gigs until about two weeks ago, when New York City closed restaurants, bars and other venues.

He had just finished a new album that was scheduled for release in April and she was finishing the photos for the cover art.

Joan Jett posted an emotional tribute to Merrill on Twitter.

"I've just learned the awful news that Alan Merrill has passed. My thoughts and love go to his family, friends and music community as a whole," she wrote. "I can still remember watching the Arrows on TV in London and being blown away by the song that screamed hit to me. With deep gratitude and sadness, wishing him a safe journey to the other side."

He was also a member of Meat Loaf's band for four years. The singer said he was saddened by the news.


"He was such a great human being and very talented one. He passed away yesterday from the coronavirus. I am really sad. I have not kept in touch with Alan and that makes me feel even worse. Let this be a lesson to all of us, try to stay in touch with the people you really love and care about. Life is very short. Alan I am sorry that I didn't reach out to you years ago. I love you very much," he wrote on Facebook.

Merrill and her stepmother have both had to self-quarantine, so they won't be able to have a proper funeral for him.

"We can't even grieve together as a family," she said. "This virus is devastating in so many ways.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 350070

Reported Deaths: 7590
CountyCasesDeaths
Hinds24512449
DeSoto23513283
Harrison21172335
Rankin15798293
Jackson15735254
Madison11171227
Lee10903180
Jones9223169
Forrest9027163
Lauderdale8087244
Lamar724890
Lowndes7199152
Lafayette6631125
Washington5661140
Pearl River5357154
Oktibbeha503198
Bolivar5004134
Warren4817128
Panola4812112
Marshall4739106
Pontotoc452473
Hancock440388
Neshoba4401181
Union438979
Monroe4369138
Lincoln4228116
Pike3739114
Leflore3676125
Alcorn355374
Tate354988
Sunflower351094
Adams347490
Scott346677
Yazoo342977
Copiah330869
Simpson327191
Itawamba317281
Coahoma315685
Tippah312869
Prentiss302563
Covington302384
Marion289882
Leake288676
Wayne280945
George277351
Grenada272188
Newton266864
Tishomingo240770
Winston238084
Stone235338
Jasper234748
Attala228674
Chickasaw221460
Holmes202574
Clay201954
Clarke189580
Tallahatchie185642
Calhoun183232
Smith183036
Yalobusha173641
Walthall150449
Lawrence145426
Greene141935
Amite139144
Noxubee137235
Perry136138
Montgomery133944
Carroll127031
Webster124332
Jefferson Davis119834
Tunica116127
Benton107825
Claiborne105931
Kemper104429
Humphreys102333
Franklin88424
Quitman86319
Choctaw83119
Wilkinson79332
Jefferson72228
Sharkey51918
Issaquena1746
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 592417

Reported Deaths: 11542
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson861091591
Mobile49771865
Madison37714533
Shelby27501259
Tuscaloosa27344465
Montgomery26343628
Baldwin25860329
Lee17336181
Calhoun15498334
Morgan15225291
Etowah15060370
Marshall13198236
Houston12191293
Elmore10977219
St. Clair10852252
Limestone10816158
Cullman10610206
Lauderdale10305254
DeKalb9594192
Talladega9005188
Walker7840288
Autauga7615114
Jackson7431117
Blount7417139
Colbert6752142
Coffee6443132
Dale5723117
Russell482243
Chilton4810117
Covington4804125
Franklin462781
Tallapoosa4571156
Escambia451083
Chambers3987125
Dallas3751163
Clarke372263
Marion3470107
Pike334079
Lawrence3277100
Winston300773
Bibb292865
Geneva288383
Marengo262967
Barbour253761
Pickens247762
Butler242472
Hale236778
Fayette228165
Henry216545
Monroe204541
Randolph202844
Cherokee200748
Washington186839
Macon171552
Crenshaw170658
Clay167159
Cleburne161845
Lamar151938
Lowndes146255
Wilcox132331
Bullock126542
Conecuh122132
Coosa119529
Perry111228
Sumter110633
Greene99337
Choctaw64425
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