'Lonely Boy' Singer Andrew Gold Dies


U.S. singer-songwriter Andrew Gold, famous for 1970s hits "Lonely Boy" and "Thank You for Being a Friend," which was used as the theme music for the hit U.S. TV show "The Golden Girls," has died aged 59, his family said.

Gold, whose other songs included "Never Let Her Slip Away," was also a music producer, a respected session musician as well as a member of Linda Ronstadt's band.

Millions were familiar with Gold's work after "Thank You for Being a Friend" was covered for the theme of the long-running "Golden Girls."

The bearded artist died in his sleep Friday at his home in Los Angeles, where he had been undergoing treatment for cancer, said his sister Melani Gold Friedman.

"Andrew was so enormously talented it almost seemed effortless," Ronstadt told the Los Angeles Times, adding: "He was a real cornerstone of those early records."

Gold played several instruments -- including guitar, piano and drums -- and was a highly regarded session musician for artists including James Taylor and Carly Simon.

He was born in August 1951 in Burbank, outside Los Angeles. His father won an Oscar for the score of 1960 film "Exodus," while his mother was a singer, providing vocals for Audrey Hepburn in "My Fair Lady," among others.

"It was clear from the beginning that I was going to be a musician," he told the LA Times in 1977. "With those kinds of influences at home, what else could I do?"