Davy Jones, the singer and de-facto leader of The Monkees has died. Initial reports said that Jones complained of chest pains before being admitted to a hospital outside Stuart, Florida, though his publicist later indicated that Jones suffered a massive heart attack and died in his sleep at home. Jones was in the midst of a Spring solo tour. An inquest is reportedly underway, though foul play has been effectively ruled out.
Born in 1945 in Manchester, England, Davy Jones began acting at age 11, landing a part on the British soap opera "Coronation Street" as Ena Sharples's grandson, Colin Lomax. After his mother passed away of complications from an ongoing battle with emphysema, Jones temporarily retreated from acting to pursue a career as a jockey.
Jones' big break came when he joined The Monkees, a group formed around a television pilot about a Beatles-like rock band. He acted on the show and appeared in concert with the group from 1965 to 1971. Though the group were largely derided by critics as nothing more than a pre-packaged faux-group, at one point in the mid-60's, Monkees albums actually outsold Beatles records by a significant margin.
Jones sang lead on such breakout Monkees hits as "Daydream Believer" and "I Wanna Be Free." Though the group initially split in 1971, Davy Jones participated in quite a few reunions, the most recent of which began last year before Monkees guitarist Peter Tork cut it short due to a "glitch."
Jones is survived by his wife, Jessica, and four daughters from previous marriages. We'll have more on this story as it develops.