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Singer Gary DeCarlo Of Iconic Steam Song Dies (Video)

| by Lauren Briggs

Former Steam lead singer Gary DeCarlo has died at the age of 75.

Even if you don't know who he is, it's almost guaranteed that you've either heard or sang Steam's most popular tune, "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" (video below).

DeCarlo died in a Connecticut hospice with his wife at his side after a battle with lung cancer, which had spread to his whole body, his close friend Pat Horgan told TMZ.

"Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye," which hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1969, has since been featured in many movies, including  "Remember the Titans" and people frequently sing the chorus at sporting events to taunt the other team's defeats, penalties, ejections and substitutions.

Even members of Congress have sung the song on several occasions to jeer at their opponents for making a decision or taking a stance that they firmly disagree with.

DeCarlo co-wrote the hit song with his former bandmates, Paul Leka and Dale Frashuer, before they officially turned into Steam, DeCarlo told ClassicBands.com.

The single, which DeCarlo said sold more than 6.5 million copies, came from a couple of older songs that they fused into one and added the "Na Na" and "Hey Hey."

A completely different band ended up on their album cover and touring for promotional performances, lip-synching DeCarlo's vocals, which ultimately caused tension between DeCarlo and Leka and caused the lead singer to quit the band.

"Think back to Milli Vanilli when people found out that these guys weren't singing," he said in the ClassicBands.com interview.

German R&B duo Milli Vanilli won a Grammy award in 1990, but later revealed they had not sung a single note on their album. They were later stripped of the award.

"That was a big deal," DeCarlo said of the Milli Vanilli scandal. "People don't like to be fooled. You're paying money to go out and see these guys perform and they're not the real deal. So obviously I walked away from it."

Once he left, DeCarlo continued to receive writers' royalties but stopped getting performance royalties for the song, as outlined in his contract. He said he struggled to book shows after leaving the band, because nobody knew him as the original Steam singer.

"Unfortunately there are still a lot of people out there that are skeptical," he added. "They don't believe it, but they feel what what they saw and read that these other guys that were the road group on the cover of the album, once they see it and read it, they feel it's gospel."

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