Bobby Hebb, Singer-Songwriter of “Sunny,” Dies in Nashville at 72

Bobby Hebb, the singer-songwriter best known for his 1966 hit, “Sunny,” died Tuesday (Aug. 3) in Nashville. He was 72. Throughout his career, the Nashville native performed with Roy Acuff’s Smoky Mountain Boys band in the 1950s — one of the only African-American performers to appear regularly on the Grand Ole Opry. He also opened the Beatles’ final U.S. tour. “Sunny” has been recorded by hundreds of artists, including James Brown, Cher, Ella Fitzgerald, José Feliciano, Marvin Gaye, Wilson Pickett, Frank Sinatra and Dusty Springfield. Hebb’s music played a prominent role in the Night Train to Nashville exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2004. He also appeared on the Grammy-winning album that accompanied the exhibit. “Sunny” has been recognized by BMI for more than 7 million radio plays.