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Edward John, better known by the stage name Little Willie John (November
15, 1937 – May 26, 1968) was an American R&B singer of the 1950s and
early 1960s, best known for his hits "All Around the World" (1955) and
the much-covered "Fever" (1956), a tune copied by Peggy Lee and made
famous in 1958.
In 1966, John was convicted of manslaughter and sent to Washington State Prison for a fatal knifing incident following a show in Seattle. He appealed against his conviction and was released while the case was reconsidered, during which time he recorded what was intended to be his comeback album, but due to contractual wrangles, and the failure of his appeal, it was not released until 2008 (as Nineteen Sixty Six). Little Willie John died in 1968 at Washington State Prison in Walla Walla, Washington. The official cause of death is listed as a heart attack, though some report he died of pneumonia or asphyxiation.
Little Willie John was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.
He was the brother of singer Mable John, who recorded for Motown (early years of the Tamla label) and Stax, and the father of Keith John, long time background singer with Stevie Wonder, and Kevin John.