Davy Jones, lead singer of the Monkees - and the band's main hearththrob - died of a massive heart attack in Florida on Wednesday.
Jones and a mop-top band, which formed in 1965, starred in the TV series of the same name from 1966-68. Also starring Peter Tork, Mike Nesmith and Mickey Dolenz, the show cast the bright-eyed boys as members of an aspiring band engaging in comic hi-jinks, and always included the performance of at least one song.
Many believed the Monkees were formed primarily as a means of exploiting the British Invasion of the American music scene and Jones, the cute short one from the UK, was the perfect emblem for that point of view.
The criticism surrounded the pre-fab nature of the project - the Spice Girls later experienced similar resentments - arguing that bands should come together because of artistic affinities, not as a cynical exercise in niche marketing to television viewers.
But producers Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider - and initial music producer Don Kirschner - knew what they were doing.
The boys were smart and talented and by engaging great songwriters - Neil Diamond penned the hit I'm A Believer - they fashioned a decent show. And despite assumptions that none of the Monkees could play their instruments, they mastered their instruments and did tour successfully.
Jones became so famous that David Bowie, born Davy Jones, had to change his name to avoid confusion.
Ironically, the Monkees, once dismissed as Beatles lite, became a source of inspiration for the punk movement - I'm Not Your Steppin' Stone was covered by many bands, including the Sex Pistols.
Jones began his acting career at age 11, when he appeared on the British TV show Coronation Street and then went on to play the Artful Dodger in the Broadway production of Oliver! which scored him a Tony award.
Jones performed a song from Oliver! on the Ed Sullivan Show the same night the Beatles performed. Watching the hysteria inspired Jones to become a singer.
He was 66.
Monkees bandmate Mike Nesmith posted his thoughts on Jones, death and what happens next in this message on his Facebook page.