Doug Fieger, 57

Doug Fieger, Knack singer who immortalized 'My Sharona,' dies at 57

Doug Fieger formed The Knack in 1978 and wrote
Doug Fieger formed The Knack in 1978 and wrote "My Sharona," about a girlfriend who he said "induced madness," a year later. (2007 Photo By Kristian Dowling/getty Images)
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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Doug Fieger, 57, the leader of the power pop band the Knack who sang on the 1979 hit "My Sharona," died Feb. 14 at his home in Los Angeles. He had cancer.

Mr. Fieger, a Detroit area native, formed the Knack in Los Angeles 1978, and the group quickly became a staple of Sunset Strip rock clubs. A year later, he co-wrote and sang lead vocals on "My Sharona." Mr. Fieger said the song, with its pounding drums and exuberant vocals, was inspired by a girlfriend of four years.

"I had never met a girl like her -- ever," he told the Associated Press in 1994. "She induced madness. She was a very powerful presence. She had an insouciance that wouldn't quit. She was very self-assured. . . . She also had an overpowering scent, and it drove me crazy."

"My Sharona," an unapologetically anthemic rock song, emerged during disco's heyday and held the No. 1 spot on the Billboard pop chart for six weeks, becoming an FM radio standard.

It became a pop culture phenomenon, parodied by "Weird Al" Yankovic and others and sampled by rap group Run DMC.

In 1994, "My Sharona" reentered the Billboard chart when it was released as a single from the soundtrack of the Ben Stiller movie "Reality Bites."

The Knack's songs, about young love and teenage lust, included the hits "Good Girls Don't," "She's So Selfish" and "Frustrated." The band continued to release albums and tour through the mid-2000s but never replicated the success of its first two albums, "Get the Knack" and " . . . But the Little Girls Understand."

Survivors include a sister, Beth Falkenstein, and a brother, lawyer Geoffrey Fieger of Southfield, Mich., who represented assisted-suicide advocate Jack Kevorkian.

-- Associated Press

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