Tommy DeVito, famed for being one of the original members of the iconic Doo-Wop group The Four Seasons, has died at the age of 92 from coronavirus complications.
DeVito reportedly died in hospital in Las Vegas on Monday night as a result of the deadly virus, with the news of his death being confirmed by actor Alfredo Nittoli in a Facebook post shared on Tuesday, TMZ reported.
He penned: “My dear friend Tommy passed away in Las Vegas at 9:45 last night. With deep regret I am writing this sitting in his living room I was informed by his daughter Darcel there will be a service in New Jersey.”
Two of the other Four Seasons original members, Frankie Valli and Bob Gaudio, released a joint statement on social media to pay tribute to their former bandmate, saying: “It is with great sadness that we report that Tommy DeVito, a founding member of The Four Seasons, has passed. We send our love to his family during this most difficult time. He will be missed by all who loved him.”
DeVito and his musical career were famously immortalised in the musical Jersey Boys, which portrayed the late singer’s exit from the group as being related to the other members’ frustrations over his gambling debts.
“I left because I had had enough,” DeVito told the Las Vegas Sun in 2008. “I had it up to here with the road and the group. … I didn’t care about playing and hearing the applause again.”
After seeing the original production of the musical, DeVito revealed that he had “mixed feelings.”
“There were a couple of things that didn’t jive with me when I first saw it. But it’s doing great, so if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. … It’s really thrilling to see yourself being played on stage, and Christian Hoff does a terrific job playing me,” he added.
Tommy began performing with Frankie Valli in The Four Lovers and The Variatones in 1954 and founded he Four Seasons in 1960, which lead to a string of popular hits like ‘Sherry,’ ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’, ‘Walk Like a Man,’ and ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’.
DeVito exited The Four Seasons in 1971 and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 with the other original members.