Hilton Valentine of The Animals Dies at 77

The founding member and guitarist of The Animals has passed away at the age of 77 and bandmate Eric Burdon is quick to pay tribute to the late musician on social media.

AceShowbizThe Animals guitarist Hilton Valentine has died at the age of 77.

The guitarist’s passing was confirmed by record label Abkco on social media on Friday (29Jan21).

A tribute posted to Twitter read, “We, along with all of the music world, mourn the loss today of Hilton Valentine a founding member of The Animals.”

“Valentine was a pioneering guitar player influencing the sound of rock and roll for decades to come.”

“We at Abkco have been privileged to serve as stewards of The Animals catalogue and his passing is felt in a truly profound way by the entire Abkco family.”

Valentine’s cause of death is currently unknown.

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He was recruited for the band by other fellow founding members Eric Burdon, Chas Chandler, and Alan Price and was responsible for the riff on one of the band’s most well-known songs, “The House of the Rising Sun”.

The track reached Number 1 in the U.K., U.S. and Canada in 1964. Other hits by the band included “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” and “We Gotta Get Out of This Place”.

Valentine left The Animals in 1966 and continued to work as both a solo artist and as a member of a number of other groups.

Hilton Valentine was inducted in to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. Along with his band mates, he was also inducted into Hollywood’s Rock Walk of Fame in 2001.

In the wake of his passing, bandmate Eric Burdon shared a throwback picture on Instagram, “The opening opus of Rising Sun will never sound the same!… You didn’t just play it, you lived it! Heartbroken by the sudden news of Hilton’s passing. We had great times together, Geordie lad. From the North Shields to the entire world…Rock In Peace.”

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