Benny Mardones, the singer-songwriter best known for the '80s power ballad "Into the Night," died today (Monday) at his Southern California home. He was 73 and had been in decline from Parkinson's for several years.
According toBillboard, the song was inspired by his platonic relationship with a teenage neighbor whose father had left her.
A Cleveland native, Mardones grew up in suburban Baltimore and got his start as a staff songwriter for Mercury Records, where his material was recorded by familiar names such as Tommy James and Brenda Lee. He launched a performing career in the late '70s, and his second LP, 1980's Never Run, Never Hide, spun off "Into the Night" -- which spent 20 weeks on the charts and peaked at number-11.
Substance illness sidetracked his career, but he got sober by the end of the '80s. "Into the Night" enjoyed a second life in 1989, when he recorded a new version that hit the Top 20.
Though he never had another smash hit, Benny performed frequently, as '80s became the new oldies, especially in Upstate New York, which became a second home. He retired in 2017, when his health declined.