... he died on May 7,1998 from lung cancer.
Born Edward Thomas "Eddie" Rabbitt in Brooklyn, New York, he grew up in East Orange, New Jersey. His father was a skilled fiddle and accordion player who often entertained local New York City dance halls.
By age twelve Eddie was a skillful guitar player, having been taught by his scoutmaster. During his childhood Rabbitt became a self-proclaimed "walking encyclopedia of country music."
After dropping out of high school, Rabbitt moved to Nashville and began his quest for a career in the music industry.
He started as a songwriter in the late 1960s, springboarding to a recording career after composing hits such as "Kentucky Rain" for Elvis Presley in 1970 and "Pure Love" for Ronnie Milsap in 1974.
Later in the 1970s, Rabbitt helped to develop the crossover-influenced sound of country music prevalent in the 1980s with such hits as "Suspicions" and "Every Which Way but Loose."
His duets "Friends and Lovers" and "You and I," with Juice Newton and Crystal Gayle respectively, later appeared on the soap operas Days of Our Lives and All My Children.
At the height of his career in the 1970s and 80s, he had twenty #1 country hits including "Drivin' My Life Away" and "I Love a Rainy Night," which also topped the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks.
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