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Michael Stanley Dead At 72 After Lung Cancer Battle

Mar. 7 2021, Published 6:59 p.m. ET

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Michael Stanley has passed away at age 72. He reportedly died in his sleep on Thursday, March 4. 

The musician had been diagnosed with lung cancer several months earlier, and the news of the diagnosis broke earlier this month when he took leave from Cleveland’s 98.5 WNCX radio, which is where he had been working.

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"Michael Stanley is dealing with serious health issues that prevent him from joining you in his 3-7pm time slot. It has been important to him to be on air up until recently, because you, his fans, mean that much to him. As of right now he is unable to continue doing that," the station announced.

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"Hey gang... Well, if you're reading this then I am off to catch up with that big club tour in the sky. But before the bus pulls out I wanted to thank all of you for being part of my musical journey, both on the stage, on record, and behind the microphone here at WNCX," a statement pre-written by Stanley read. 

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"Somebody once said that if you love your job then it's not really work. And if that's true (and I definitely think it is) then I have been happily out of work for over fifty years!"

Stanley’s career began in 1973 as a solo artist while still in college before he formed the Michael Stanley Band in 1994. The band was best known for hits such as "Hold Your Fire" and "All I Ever Wanted."

The band called it quits in 1987 but Stanley continued to work on music and became a radio and television personality. 

Stanley had a prostate cancer battle in 2017 and the same year had open-heart surgery. "I’m really kind of blessed that people still want to hear any of this and still come out, and still pay to come out," he said to WKSU in 2019. "We didn’t become household names. We didn’t become international superstars. But we also did a lot of things that who would have even thought of?"

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"We were a working, on-the-road, recording rock ‘n’ roll band for 14 years when the expected life span of a rock band is two or three years. And we’re all still friends and some of us still play together 45 years later."

Scroll down to see the reactions to Stanley’s passing: 

Richard Marx

Musician Richard Marx "can't recall another artist" like Stanley. 

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Paul Stanley

Although KISS member Paul Stanley is no relation to Stanley, he thought the "Spanish Nights" crooner was a "bright light & warm soul."

Bernie Kosar

NFL player Bernie Kosar also kept Stanely in his prayers. 

Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

Cleveland's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame thanked Stanley for "helping to make or city the Rock & Roll Capital of the World."

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