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The Latvian 'king of rock’n’roll' Pits Andersons (Pete Anderson) has died at 70, reported LSM's Latvian-language service Wednesday via LETA.
He died from liposarcoma, a rare form of cancer. Last summer the musician had raised €21,000 from his fans to undergo treatment in Munich.
He was an authentic 50s-style rock legend together with The Swamp Shakers band in Latvia, instantly recognizable from his quiff and Buddy Holly glasses. If you were lucky you might even spot him cruising downtown Riga in a pink Cadillac convertible.
Music journalist Artemy Troicky has called Andersons the very first true rocker in the entire former Soviet Union.
His rebel-rousing concerts in the 1960s and 1970s are even considered to have played an important part in helping Latvians stand up to regain their freedom and independence.
The Soviet authorities cracked down, trying to ban his concerts and kicking him out of college - but not even they could stop the force of rock 'n' roll.
Nor was his appeal limited to Eastern Europe. His completely authentic brand of rockabilly made him a regular on the international circuit, too, and proved that Latvians can shake, rattle and roll with the best of them.
In 2009 Andersons won the award for the best Rockabilly Album at Just Plain Folks Music Awards in the US, with his album titled Brass-A-Billy.