'Wild Thing' Singer Reg Presley Dead at 71

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'Wild Thing' Singer Reg Presley Dead at 71
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'Wild Thing' Singer Reg Presley Dead at 71

Reg Presley, the frontman for The Troggs who snarled his way to rock fame on the iconic song "Wild Thing," died Monday following a battle with lung cancer. He was 71.

According to the BBC, Presley -- born Reginald Maurice Ball in Andover, Hampshire, England --  died surrounded by family members at his home in Hampshire.

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Though The Troggs (short for "Troglodytes," the group's original name) didn't write "Wild Thing" -- the song was penned by New York City songwriter Chip Taylor -- they certainly made it their own with their 1966 cover of the song, which came to be an influential track with its raw energy and simplicity. Their version would eventually land in the #257 slot on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Though the group is probably most closely associated with "Wild Thing," they would have other hits, including "Love Is All Around," which became a hit in the 1990s for Wet Wet Wet.

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Presley, top right in photo, announced his lung cancer diagnosis -- and departure from The Troggs -- in a January 2012 post on the band's official website.

" As you all know I was taken ill whilst doing a gig in Germany in December. During my stay in hospital tests showed that in fact I have lung cancer. I am receiving chemotherapy treatment and at the moment not feeling too bad," Presley wrote.

"However I've had to call time on The Troggs and retire," the singer added. "I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for the cards and calls and for your love, loyalty and support over the years."

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