Alex Chilton, the influential leader of The Box Tops and Big Star, died today in a New Orleans hospital of an apparent heart attack. He was 59.

His hits, including "The Letter" and "Cry Like a Baby," as well as his work with Big Star and his solo work, made him a hero to alternative rockers in the '80s, including The Replacements, who immortalized him in "Alex Chilton."

Big Star was set to play the South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas, this weekend.

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