Del Shannon (born Charles Weedon Westover; December 30, 1934 – February 8, 1990) was an American rock and roll and country musician and singer-songwriter, best known for his 1961 number 1 Billboard hit “Runaway”.
In the years leading up to his death, Shannon suffered from depression. On February 8, 1990, he died of a gunshot wound from suicide with a .22 calibre rifle at his home in Santa Clarita, California. Shannon was cremated, and his ashes were scattered.
Following his death, the Traveling Wilburys honored him by recording a version of “Runaway”. Jeff Lynne also co-produced Shannon’s posthumous album, Rock On, released by Silvertone Records in 1991.
Shannon was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999. Del Shannon was inducted into the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Fame in 2005.
A Del Shannon Memorial Scholarship Fund was set up following Shannon’s death. Coopersville, Michigan also holds an annual Del Shannon Car Show.