Published Dec 27, 2019Sleepy LaBeef, a legendary rockabilly artist who had been active since the 1950s, has passed away. He died on Thursday (December 26) at the age of 84.
The news was confirmed by a Facebook post from LaBeef's family, who wrote, "He died at home, in his own bed, surrounded by his family who loved him, and whom he dearly loved. He lived a full and vibrant life, filled with the excitement of much travel and experience, the contentment that came from being able to spend his life doing what he loved best, and the fulfilling love of his wife, children, and grandchildren around him."
The artist was born Thomas Paulsley LaBeff in Smackover, AR, eventually adopting the name "Sleepy" because of the appearance of his eyes. His early work was released under the name Sleepy LaBeff before he adopted LaBeef as a stage surname.
He released a number of hits through labels like Mercury, Columbia and Sun Records, and was best known for his live shows. In addition to releasing well-known tracks like "Tore Up," he also appeared as "The Swamp Thing" in the 1968 B-movie The Exotic Ones.
LaBeef's most recent album of original recordings was Roots, which was released in 2008. His work was also explored in the 2013 documentary Sleepy LaBeef Rides Again.