PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Popular Pittsburgh singer-songwriter B.E. Taylor has passed away at the age of 65.
Taylor was known by many across Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia for his moving Christmas concerts.
Longtime friend and associate Steve Hansen confirmed Taylor died Sunday from complications from an inoperable brain tumor first diagnosed in 2007.
Taylor, an Aliquippa native, became a local rock legend in the 1980’s with songs like Vitamin L that was a Billboard regional number one hit.
Taylor and lifelong friend and guitarist Rick Wikowski filled dance clubs and appeared on MTV with three major label releases.
It was the Christmas recordings and performances that brought Taylor his greatest success.
It started nearly by accident, Hansen said, after B. E. submitted a song in 1991 for a local radio station’s Christmas composition.
The reworked version of Silent Night became such a hit that by 1994 Taylor included on his own album, B.E. Taylor Christmas.
The first concert followed at Oglebay Park that December and grew over the years into an annual Christmas tour across the region that played to 40,000 fans a year.
In March of 2007, B.E. Taylor was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor.
In 2008, the Pittsburgh Ballet commissioned a world premiere featuring live performances of Taylor’s original love ballads. Taylor appeared with Marvin Hamlisch in a 2010 weeklong Pittsburgh Pops show built around Taylor’s One Nation Under God, an album of patriotic songs.
WQED-TV and other PBS stations across the country began airing the concerts in 2010.
Taylor is survived by his wife Veronica and children B.C and Tahnee.
During his career B.E. worked with Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Old Navy and performed with acts like Chicago, the Beach Boys, Todd Rundgren, Kathy Troccoli and more.
Taylor was awarded the Duquesne University Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008. He was also a member of the Beaver Valley Hall of Fame and was given the Distinguished West Virginian Award.
B.E. was a fixture on the local charity concert scene in Pittsburgh, the Beaver Valley and Wheeling. He was always willing to lend his talent to worthy causes such as Auberle, Special Olympics, Tiger Pause, Children’s Hospital, Pittsburgh’s School for the Blind, Project Bundle Up, Toys for Tots, the March of Dimes, House of the Carpenter and the Soup Kitchen of Wheeling.
Funeral arrangements are pending and will be private.