Name at birth: Charles Weedon Westover
Charles Westover changed his name to Del Shannon because his birth name "had no ammunition." He played guitar and sang in Michigan nightclubs until discovered by record company executives. He moved to New York and recorded "Runaway" in 1961; his distinctive falsetto and guitar work made the song an international hit . Shannon had a string of hit songs in the early 1960s, and throughout the '70s and '80s he continued to record and produce albums, but none of his subsequent songs proved to be quite as enduring as his first hit. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999.