Philip Margo dead: Tokens singer behind The Lion King’s The Lion Sleeps Tonight dies at 79

The Tokens perform The Lion Sleeps Tonight in 1994

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Philip Margo died in a Los Angeles hospital on Saturday, his family have confirmed. The Tokens singer had suffered a stroke.

The band rose to fame thanks to their version of The Lion Sleeps Tonight, which topped the Billboard charts in 1961.

The hit featured in 1994 Disney film The Lion King, as well as various other movies and TV shows.

It remained in the number one spot on the charts for three weeks.

Fans of the Tokens took to Twitter to pay tribute to Philip.

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About the popular song, Philip once said: “We were embarrassed by it and tried to convince Hugo [Peretti] and Luigi [Creatore] not to release it.

“They said it would be a big record, and it was going out.

“Now that it’s current, we’re current.

“I am thrilled,” Philip concluded.

The vocal group also performed the songs I Hear Trumpets Blow and Tonight I Fell in Love.

DiamondDaibhidJ wrote: “This is literally the first song I have a memory of, it was wafting through the air in a New Brunswick trailer park during a family vacation when I was 8.

“Still getts your attention.

“#RIP to Philip Margo of the Tokens.” [sic]

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KimBru49 typed: “‘In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the Lion Sleeps Tonight.’

“RIP Philip Margo.”

tomasanjose penned: “The Tokens – I Hear Trumpets Blow – RIP baritone Philip Margo – he died just a few days shy of tomorrow’s 60th anniversary of ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’ release.”

Philip is survived by his wife, Abbie S Margo.

The couple wed in 1966 and shared sons Noah and Joshua, and daughter Neely S Irwin.

Philip was a grandad to eight grandchildren.

He also leaves behind sister Maxine Rubin.

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