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R.I.P. Eddie Money, hit-making rocker of the 1970s and '80s

Image: The Everett Collection

He was born Edward Mahoney, but the stage name Eddie Money fit. From 1978 through 1991, Money released 11 singles that raced into the Top 40. With arena-rousing hits like "Baby Hold On," "Two Tickets to Paradise" and "Take Me Home Tonight," the Brooklyn-born rocker became a radio staple.

Raised in a family of cops — his grandfather, father and brother all wore NYPD uniforms — Money carried a blue-collar ethic into his stadium-ready tunes. As a young man, he eschewed the policeman life and moved to Berkeley, California, honing his craft in Bay Area clubs.

"Baby Hold On," the first single from his self-titled debut album, was an impressive start to his recording career, reaching No. 11 on the charts. The follow-up single, "Two Tickets to Paradise," solidified his status as a one-man arena force, a solo contemporary of REO Speedwagon, Journey and their ilk. 

That immediate success led to several television appearances. Saturday Night Live immediately booked him in the spring of 1978, and he later appeared on series such as The Midnight SpecialFridays, Solid Gold and American Bandstand.

In 1986, "Take Me Home Tonight" delved into nostalgia, referencing the Ronettes' 1963 classic "Be My Baby" and featuring guest vocals from Ronnie Spector herself. 

His music was also featured in episodes of WKRP in Cincinnati. In 2002, Money guest-starred as himself on an episode of The King of Queens, earning an acting credit.

On Friday, September 13, Money died from esophageal cancer. He was 70 years old.

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