PLAINEDGE, NY — Eddie Money, a 1980s pop star known best for “Take Me Home Tonight” and “Two Tickets To Paradise,” has died. The Plainedge native was 70 years old.
Money, who changed his name in 1976 from Edward Joseph Mahoney, died Friday morning as he battled stage 4 esophageal cancer, according to Variety. His family told the publication in a statement: “The Money Family regrets to announce that Eddie passed away peacefully early this morning. It is with heavy hearts that we say goodbye to our loving husband and father. We cannot imagine our world without him. We are grateful that he will live on forever through his music.”
Money reportedly lived in the San Francisco Bay Area and routinely sang at clubs in the area. He was born March 21, 1949, in Brooklyn, New York, but considered Long Island his home.
Money routinely played summer concerts at a large outdoor show in East Meadow’s Eisenhower Park, according to the site No Place Like Long Island.
“You gotta love Long Island, baby,” he told the site. “That’s where I am from, 516, baby. The best Italian food in the world, it is not in Brooklyn, it’s not in Manhattan, it’s in Long Island.”
Money left the island in 1968 to pursue a career in music, quitting his pursuit of following in his father’s footsteps and becoming a police officer.
“I was a police trainee, my father was patrolman of the year and he was driving me out of my f—-ing mind. My rock band from high school moved out to California, and they said ‘Eddie, you gotta come out to California and sing. We’re going to get a record deal.'”
Just one thing prevented him from returning to the island.
“I would have moved back to Long Island, but the only one thing that stopped me from moving back to Long Island, my mother lives there,” he told the site. “And I had a New York mother. If you know what I’m talking about, you probably have one so… When you’re married to a woman that knows everything, then you think back to your mother, because they know everything, you know?”
In recent months, Money fell very ill. And in July, he made the decision to postpone all tour dates and his album release.
“While it was a very hard decision to make, focusing on Eddie’s health is the most important thing to the family at the moment,” his family said in a statement.
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Money shot to fame in 1977 after meeting well-known promoter Bill Graham, who described Money as a “natural performer.” The singer signed a deal with Columbia Records and became an instant star with his eponymous debut album, according to EddieMoney.com The album featured mega hits including “Baby Hold On” and “Two Tickets to Paradise,” and went double platinum.
He remained a pop star well into the 1980s, releasing radio jams such as “Can’t Hold Back” and “Take Me Home Tonight.”