Carl Gardner, Coasters lead singer, dies at 83

June 13, 2011 - 9:29 PM

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) — Carl Gardner, original lead singer of the R&B group the Coasters, has died in Florida. He was 83.

Gardner's wife Veta says her husband died Sunday at a Port St. Lucie hospice following a long bout with congestive heart failure and vascular dementia.

Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, the Coasters had a string of hits in the late 1950s. Their single "Yakety Yak" reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 following its 1958 release. It also spent seven weeks as the number one rhythm and blues song.

Veta Gardner said of her husband, "He loved his singing. That was his whole life."

The group continues to perform. Carl Gardner Jr. has been the lead singer since his father retired in 2005.