Andy Williams dies at age 84

Singer Andy Williams died Tuesday night after a year-long fight with bladder cancer according to a representative from the public relations firm, The Shefrin Company.

The smooth-voiced crooner died at his home in Branson, Mo, after a year-long fight with bladder cancer.

This year, 2012, marked the singer’s 75th year in show business. Williams has been awarded 17 gold and three platinum records, and has won three Emmy Awards for his television work.

Born in Wall Lake, IA, Williams began singing with his three brothers as the Williams Brothers. The quartet performed on the radio in all over the Midwest, becoming regulars on the Iowa’s Barn Dance Show on WHO in Des Moines, IA.

The quartet also performed on WLS in Chicago and WLW in Cincinnati, catching the attention of Bing Crosby.

Thanks to Crosby, the Williams Brothers recorded their 1944 hit, Swinging on a Star.

After disbanding the group in 1951, Williams moved to New York and became a regular on Steve Allen’s Tonight Show.

Williams’ hit songs include Canadian Sunset, Butterfly, Lonely Street, The Village of St. Bernadette, and The Hawaiian Wedding Song – for which he received his first of five Grammy Award nominations.

From 1962 to 1971, Williams hosted the eponymous named variety show – The Andy Williams Show, which garnered three Emmy Awards for Best Variety Show.

Williams owned the Moon River Theatre in Branson, which was built in 1992, and named after his signature song Moon River – the Oscar winning song from the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

The singer’s first wife was Claudine Longet. A year after the couple divorced in 1975, Longet was accused of killing her boyfriend, alpine ski racer Spider Sabich in Aspen, CO. Williams was by Longet’s side during the trial.

Williams is survived by his wife Debbie, whom he married in 1991, and three children from his first marriage.