Philip Margo died at 79

TOKENS singer Philip Margo, famous for the successful Lion King single The Lion Sleeps Tonight, has died at the age of 79.

According to her family, Margo died in a hospital in Los Angeles Saturday after suffering a stroke.

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Token singer Philip Margo has died at 79Credit: thetokens.com
Tokens' single The Lion Sleeps Tonight was featured in the 1994 Disney film The Lion King

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Tokens’ single The Lion Sleeps Tonight was featured in the 1994 Disney film The Lion KingCredit: Alamy

The Brooklyn native was a longtime member of The Tokens, an American doo-wop style vocal group.

The group is famous for their hit single The Lion Sleeps Tonight, which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1961.

At the time of the single’s release, Margo and the rest of the band didn’t really trust the record.

“We were embarrassed by this and tried to convince Hugo [Peretti] and Luigi [Creatore] not to publish it, “he said in an interview quoted in The Billboard Book of Number 1 Hits by Fred Bronson

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

After its release and with the help of lyricist George Weiss, who added the English lyrics that begin “Into the Jungle, the Mighty Jungle,” the song remained number one for three weeks and became a cultural touchstone.

It skyrocketed to popularity in 1994 after Disney featured the single in their movie The Lion King.

“Now that it’s relevant, we are relevant. I’m delighted,” Margo said at the time.

The Tokens also released the popular singles I Hear Trumpets Blow and Tonight I Fell in Love.

Margo is survived by his wife, Abbie S Margo, whom he married in 1966, his sons Noah and Joshua, his daughter Neely S Irwin, his sister Maxine Rubin and eight grandchildren.

Margo’s brother and bandmate Mitch died in 2017.

The Tokens were an American doo-wop style vocal group famous for their singles I Hear Trumpets Blow and Tonight I Fell in Love

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The Tokens were an American doo-wop style vocal group famous for their singles I Hear Trumpets Blow and Tonight I Fell in LoveCredit: Getty Images – Getty

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