ST. JOSEPH - Pop idol from the 1960s Bobby Vee has died. Family friend Thomas Cabot says Vee died early Monday morning at the age of 73.

He was diagnosed with alzheimer's disease in 2011. He had been in hospice care for a little over a year.

Vee was born Robert Velline in 1943 in Fargo. He was known for his songs "Take Good Care Of My Baby", "Rubber Ball", and "Devil Or Angel".  Vee was just 15 when he took the stage in nearby Moorhead to fill in after the 1959 plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson.

Within months, Vee and his band, The Shadows, had a regional hit with "Suzie Baby." Vee went on to record 38 Top 100 hits.

Vee also gave a young Bob Dylan his start. Dylan played briefly with Vee's band and suggested he change his last name to Vee.

Vee has lived in the St. Cloud area since 1980. Vee's sons own Rockhouse Productions in St. Joseph.

Cabot says the Vee family is expected to release more information about the passing of their father later today.

Funeral arrangements are pending at this time.

Some of Bobby Vee's hit singles, chart positions

- "Take Good Care of My Baby," hit No. 1 on the Hot 100 chart in September 1961. The single stayed at No. 1 for three weeks.

- "Run to Him," hit No. 2 on Hot 100 in December 1961.

- "The Night Has A Thousand Eyes," hit No. 3 on Hot 100 in February 1963, No. 8 on Hot R&B Singles in January 1963, and No. 2 on Adult Contemporary Airplay in January 1963.

- "Come Back When You Grow Up," hit No. 3 on Hot 100 in September 1967.

- "Devil or Angel," hit No. 6 on Hot 100 in October 1960.

- "Rubber Ball," hit No. 6 on Hot 100 in January 1961.

- "Charms," hit No. 13 on Hot 100 in May 1963, and No. 5 on Adult Contemporary Airplay in May 1963.

- "Please Don't Ask About Barbara," hit No. 15 on Hot 100 in April 1962.

- "Sharing You," hit No. 15 on Hot 100 in July 1962.

- "Punish Her," hit No. 20 on Hot 100 in October 1962.

(Source: Billboard magazine)

The Associated Press contributed to this story. 

Getty Images