Singer and songwriter Alan Merrill, who co-wrote Joan Jett’s signature hit I Love Rock N’ Roll,” died of coronavirus in New York, his daughter announced on social media.

“The Coronavirus took my father this morning,” Laura Merrill wrote in a Facebook post on Sunday. “I was given 2 minutes to say my goodbyes before I was rushed out.”

The woman said her 69-year-old father “seemed peaceful” and she left Mount Sinai Hospital still hoping he would not become “a ticker on the right hand side of the CNN/Fox news screen”.

“By the time I got in the doors to my apartment I received the news that he was gone,” she wrote.

The Bronx native wrote I Love Rock N’ Roll with band mate Jake Hooker when they were in The Arrows in 1975.

Rock star Joan Jett saw him perform the iconic song on a British TV show the following year and she ended up recording her own version, which became an instant hit that helped define an era and was the No.1 song in the US for eight weeks in 1982.

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The rock anthem has since been recorded by Britney Spears and many other artists.

Jett paid tribute to Merrill on Twitter on Sunday evening.

“I can still remember watching the Arrows on TV in London and being blown away by the song that screamed hit to me. With deep gratitude and sadness, wishing him a safe journey to the other side,” she said.

Alan Merrill, who was also an actor and guitarist, started his musical career in Japan and had hits in both English and Japanese over the years, according to his official website.

He was also a member of Meat Loaf’s band for about four years in the late 1980s.

AAP

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