DNC 2020: Prince Royce dazzles with cover of Ben E King’s 'Stand By Me', but who was it actually written for?

The song released in 1962 was originally performed by singer-songwriter Ben E King and written by King, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller


                            DNC 2020: Prince Royce dazzles with cover of Ben E King’s 'Stand By Me', but who was it actually written for?
Prince Royce and Ben E King (Getty Images)

Singer-songwriter Prince Royce dazzled the third night of Democratic Convention 2020 on August 19 with a rousing version of ‘Stand By Me’. The song released in 1962 was originally performed by singer-songwriter Ben E King and written by King, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. Since 1962, various artists have covered the popular song but it was Royce’s 2010 version that takes the cake. The cover was transformed by Royce into a Latin American genre of bachata, a sound that originated in the Dominican Republic.

Royce also translated some of King’s original lyrics into Spanish and truly made it sound like his original creation while paying homage to the artist. Now the same artist’s performance of the rendition at DNC has touched many fans who have just discovered the song. Taking to Twitter to share the news of his performance, Royce wrote, “Don’t miss my performance at the #DemConvention 2020 in a few! Tune in on national TV or online at http://demconvention.com/watch. And don’t forget to VOTE this November!”.



 

After the song, he said, “Mi Gente, let’s stand by each other and don’t forget to vote this November. Together we can make a change” as reported in the Heavy website. The Internet is totally beguiled by this melody and are tweeting about it. “People just now discovering Prince Royce’s cover of Ben E. King’s Stand By Me because of the DNC, this cover was heavy on my playlist rotation ten years ago”, a fan said, mentioning how the song had already existed.



 

“This is how representation works: I could name 10 Latino artists I would want to see before Prince Royce. But him singing at the DNC in front of the whole country is pretty special. If Bad Bunny came out then it’s lit and young Latinos are listening to Joe, just saying”, tweeted Adrian Carrasquillo the National political reporter of News Week.”



 

“I didn't know him before now, but loved his performance," said a viewer.



 

While people are just exploring and finding the song blissful, here are some interesting facts about Ben E King’s ‘Stand By Me’.

Gospel influences

The song is inspired by a gospel hymn that was sung in churches in Philadelphia. The intricately woven gospel influences in its lyrics are complimented with guitar and chimes playing in the background in the original version.

A boost to careers of King and Royce

The song gave a fillip to both singers, King and Royce. While King sang the song in a powerful voice with overtones of emotions, Royce's version had tropical sounds that bachata entails.

Homage to King

In 2010, King and Ben both performed the song at the 11th annual Latin Grammy Awards. Though Royce adopted the song in his own way, he gave King the due credit for being the original creator. In 2015 after King’s death Royce paid homage to the great singer and said, “I am shocked and saddened to learn of the passing of such a legend, a kind, gentle giant of the music industry. I feel blessed to have known, worked and performed with him — he made me feel like a friend. Ben will always be in my heart as my mentor and my role model and someone who inspired me and opened the door for me in my career. May he rest in peace.”

400 versions

Till now there have been around 400 versions of the song performed by many artists. The song was also featured on the soundtrack of 1986 film, ‘Stand By Me’, and a corresponding music video was also released showing King with actors River Phoenix and Wil Wheaton.

Significance

More recognition of the song came in 2015 when it was inducted into the National Recording Registry on accounts of being a "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” song.

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