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Cleveland’s Hometown Rock Hero Michael Stanley Dies at 72

Cleveland rocker, radio host and television personality Michael Stanley died Friday at the age of 72. Stanley and his band received national recognition in the early 80’s with their hits “He Can’t Love You” and “My Town”, but in Ohio and the surrounding area, Michael Stanley was a rock and roll icon.

At their height, the Michael Stanley Band sold out multiple shows at the Richfield Coliseum and Blossom Music Center in Cleveland. Artists including Billy Joel and Foreigner opened for him early in their careers.

Following his rise to fame in the Midwest, Michael Stanley continued to be a household name as a radio DJ and television personality. He hosted an afternoon radio show from 1990 until February of this year. It was then that Stanley took a leave from WNCX, revealing he had been diagnosed with lung cancer 7 months prior.

Per Stanley’s instructions, the Cleveland rock station shared a goodbye letter from the hometown hero a day after his passing.

“Hey gang… Well, if you’re reading this then I am off to catch up with that big club tour in the sky. But before the bus pulls out I wanted to thank all of you for being a part of my musical journey…. Somebody once said that if you love your job then it’s not really work. And if that’s true (and I definitely think it is) then I have been happily out of work for over 50 years! Sure it would have been nice if this had all lasted a bit longer but my time on this mortal coil has been blessed with great family, friends and coworkers and you can’t ask for much more than that!… Take care of yourself and each other and remember, now more than ever: It’s your world… pay attention! Peace.”

Stanley’s family also shared a statement Saturday, saying “Michael battled lung cancer for seven months with the same strength and dignity he carried throughout his life. He will always be remembered as a loving father, brother, husband, a loyal friend, and the leader of one of Cleveland’s most successful rock bands.”

Celebrities, organizations and sports teams took to social media to pay tribute to Stanley following the news of his death including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Cleveland Browns and Paul Stanley (no relation) of Kiss.

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