Legendary Crooner Perry Como Dies

Singer was 87.

Pop legend Perry Como died Saturday after a lengthy illness, according to the Associated Press. He was 87.

The smooth, sweater-clad crooner died in his sleep at his home in Palm Beach, Florida, Como's daughter Terry Thibadeau told the news service. Como sold more than 100 million records and released 11 platinum-selling singles. His television variety show, on the air from 1955 to 1963, won two Emmys.

Born Pierino Como, the singer started out as a barber in his hometown of Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. Singing was his first and real love, however, and he joined the Ted Weems big band in 1937. By the early 1940s he signed a contract with RCA Records as a solo artist.

His top 10 pop hits included "Hot Diggity (Dog Ziggity Boom)," "(A Hubba-Hubba-Hubba) Dig You Later" and "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows."

Como won a Kennedy Center award for outstanding achievement in the performing arts in 1987.