Arts & Entertainment

Doug Fieger, lead singer of 'My Sharona' band the Knack, dies

Doug Fieger, leader of the Los Angeles-based power pop band the Knack who co-wrote and sang on the 1979 No. 1 hit "My Sharona," has died, The Los Angeles Times Web site reported.

Feiger was 57. His sister, Beth Falkenstein, told the newspaper he died Sunday at his home in Woodland Hills. Feiger had cancer.

"My Sharona" was No. 1 for six weeks. Fieger said the song was inspired by a former girlfriend.

"He was an extraordinary lover of all things popular culture," Falkenstein said of her brother. "He was an eternal pop teenager but highly intellectual and intense," she told The Times.

Doug Lars Fieger was born Aug. 20, 1952, in Detroit and grew up in suburban Oak Park, Mich. After graduating from high school, he went to England to record two albums with the group Sky, his sister told the newspaper.

The group broke up after moving to Los Angeles. The Knack was formed in 1978 and soon was discovered on the L.A. club scene and signed with Capitol Records. In its brief moment in the sun, the Knack put the phrase "power pop" into the musical lexicon for its compact, hook-filled, guitar-based rock songs that recalled the sound of the '60s British Invasion bands, particularly the Beatles and the Kinks.

Their signature white shirts and skinny black ties and vests became a hallmark of the New Wave music scene, which distinguished itself from punk with catchier songs and less overt anger at the political and musical establishment.

"My Sharona" was a sterling example of how infectious their approach was, opening with bouncing-ball guitar and drum beat that quickly segued into short bursts of power chords.

But the songwriting was lighter weight than that of such British contemporaries as Elvis Costello and Graham Parker, and the Knack never garnered the critical accolades that routinely greeted Costello and Parker's recordings.

Fieger, who had battled cancer for several years, told the Detroit News in January: "I've had 10 great lives. And I expect to have some more. I don't feel cheated in any way, shape or form."

Survivors also include his brother, Geoffrey Fieger.

Services are pending.