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'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: 263023

Reported Deaths: 5752
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17675191
Hinds16813331
Harrison14224204
Rankin11167219
Jackson10839190
Lee9050144
Madison8568168
Jones6668114
Forrest6177124
Lauderdale6097192
Lowndes5518120
Lafayette516298
Lamar503965
Washington4923125
Bolivar4104109
Oktibbeha405982
Panola384881
Pontotoc376258
Warren3674103
Monroe3671108
Union355663
Marshall355270
Neshoba3485154
Pearl River3468105
Leflore3111109
Lincoln305688
Hancock291862
Sunflower291475
Tate279662
Alcorn272354
Pike268981
Itawamba268063
Scott259648
Yazoo255256
Prentiss252553
Tippah249250
Copiah249049
Coahoma248054
Simpson242171
Leake237367
Grenada223272
Marion222073
Covington219973
Adams213671
Wayne212634
Winston207371
George204339
Newton199046
Attala196963
Tishomingo194161
Chickasaw189044
Jasper179538
Holmes171768
Clay165837
Tallahatchie156235
Stone151425
Clarke147262
Calhoun140822
Smith129226
Yalobusha122034
Walthall114337
Greene113529
Noxubee112926
Montgomery111636
Carroll106622
Lawrence106517
Perry104531
Amite101426
Webster96124
Tunica88821
Claiborne88325
Jefferson Davis88329
Benton85623
Humphreys84624
Kemper80520
Quitman7089
Franklin69917
Choctaw63213
Wilkinson59825
Jefferson56821
Sharkey45117
Issaquena1606
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 439442

Reported Deaths: 6657
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson644371007
Mobile31435569
Madison28158217
Tuscaloosa21492275
Montgomery19873332
Shelby19248132
Baldwin17128189
Lee13137107
Morgan12594142
Etowah12070181
Calhoun11496206
Marshall10420123
Houston8988164
Limestone832081
Cullman8257124
Elmore8183110
DeKalb7871107
Lauderdale7847107
St. Clair7808130
Talladega6445112
Walker6028183
Jackson599145
Colbert548694
Blount546286
Autauga535862
Coffee460764
Dale409685
Franklin374150
Russell354215
Chilton344373
Covington338580
Escambia334544
Tallapoosa3143109
Dallas312996
Chambers303470
Clarke298036
Pike262431
Lawrence253355
Marion253161
Winston233342
Bibb222348
Geneva210247
Marengo208231
Pickens199531
Hale184944
Barbour180538
Fayette177829
Butler173160
Cherokee165131
Henry159525
Monroe152021
Randolph145536
Washington141727
Clay129746
Crenshaw123745
Macon121937
Cleburne121525
Lamar119922
Lowndes114836
Wilcox107922
Bullock103328
Perry99918
Conecuh97822
Sumter90527
Greene77923
Coosa63418
Choctaw51924
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