Singer Eddie Money dead at 70

Singer Eddie Money, who decided to forego walking the beat as a police officer in order to chase his stage dreams,  becoming a consistent hitmaker during the 1970s and 1980s, died on Friday.

Cindy Ronzoni provided a statement from the family, saying Money died peacefully in Los Angeles.

“It is with heavy hearts that we say goodbye to our loving husband and father,” the statement said. “It’s so hard to imagine our world without him; however, he will live on forever through his music.”

Money, who was 70, announced in August that he had esophageal cancer on his reality TV series Real Money, which aired on AXS TV.

“I thought I was just going in to get a checkup, and he told me I got cancer,” said Money.

Born Eddie Mahoney in New York City, he trained in the late 1960s to be a New York Police Department officer like his father and brother before deciding to pursue a music career full time. After several years of struggle in both New York and California, Money caught his big break when he signed to famed concert promoter Bill Graham’s record label on Columbia Records.

His self-titled debut album, released in late 1977, spawned the top 20 hit Baby Hold On and the top 40 hit Two Tickets to Paradise, both staples now of classic rock radio formats.

By 1982, the year he received airplay for Think I’m in Love and Shakin’ off of the No Control album, the fast-talking Money was telling interviewers that he had enjoyed his initial burst of success too much, ending up in the hospital two years earlier after an unintentional overdose of drugs and alcohol.

‘Soulful rock and roll voice’

He continued to struggle with alcohol addiction before joining a 12-step program in 2001. “I came to the realization that I didn’t really need [alcohol] for my quick wit,” he told CNN in 2003.

He enjoyed his biggest hit in 1986, the duet Take Me Home Tonight with legendary girl group singer Ronnie Spector, which reached No. 4 of the Billboard Hot 100. The song was included on the album Can’t Hold Back, which also contained hits I Wanna Go Back and Endless Nights.

Money was married for 30 years to Laurie Harris, the couple having five children, Zachary, Jessica, Joseph, Desmond and Julian.

After Money announced his cancer diagnosis, Spector in an Instagram post, said “We need [Eddie Money] and his Soulful Rock and Roll voice around a lot longer.”

On Friday, the singer-actor Michael Des Barres praised Money as a “great rock ‘n’ roll singer … irreverent and reverential about rock ‘n’ roll.”