Jay Traynor, the singer best known for his stint as the original lead vocalist in Jay and the Americans, has passed away at the age of 69.

Jay Traynor, the original lead singer for Jay and the Americans, died Thursday in a Tampa, Florida, hospital after a long battle with liver cancer. He was 69.  His death was confirmed to ABC News Radio by Traynor's good friend and colleague Jay Siegel of The Tokens, who is acting as a family spokesperson.

Traynor, who was originally a member of the group The Mystics, formed Jay and the Americans in the late 1950s.  Their first big hit, "She Cried," reached #5 in 1962, but Traynor left the group when additional hits failed to materialize.  He subsequently started a solo career, and also worked at an upstate New York TV station, and behind-the-scenes in the music industry. For the past eight years, he had been singing with The Tokens, best known for their hit "The Lion Sleeps Tonight."

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