Jack Ely

AP Photo/Don Ryan

The Kingsmen member Jack Ely has died after a long battle with an illness. He was 71.

His son Sean Ely confirmed the news to multiple outlets Tuesday afternoon saying the singer passed away at his home in Redmond, Ore.

"Because of his religious beliefs, we're not even sure what [the illness] was," Sean shared with reporters.

Jack was an original member of The Kingsmen, a band formed in 1959 that primarily performed cover songs at shows. They would also record the classic single "Louie Louie" that featured Jack's incoherent vocals. 

The FBI was so intrigued by the hard-to-understand lyrics that it conducted an investigation into whether the song was obscene. The song was released in 1963.

"Right of his mouth, my father would say: ‘We were initially just going to record the song as an instrument and at the last minute I decided I'd sing it,'" Sean recalled. "'It's all of this is in a 10-by-10 room with one microphone. I'm standing on my tippy toes yelling into the microphone: Louie Louie! Louie Louie! We gotta go!'"

Ely would eventually have a falling out with the band. Instead of focusing on music, he began training horses in Central Oregon while savoring his one-hit wonder.

"He wanted to try on different occasions to pursue other endeavors in the music industry," Sean shared. "But I think when it was all said and done, he was pretty happy that he did 'Louie Louie.'"

Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family. 

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