Eric Hilliard Nelson (May 8, 1940 – December 31, 1985), known professionally as Ricky Nelson, was an American singer, pop pioneer, musician, and actor. From age eight he starred alongside his family in the radio and television series The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. In 1957, he began a long and successful career as a popular recording artist. The expression “teen idol” was first coined to describe Nelson, and his fame as both a recording artist and television star also led to a motion picture role co-starring alongside John Wayne, Dean Martin and Angie Dickinson in Howard Hawks‘s western feature film Rio Bravo (1959). He placed 53 songs on the Billboard Hot 100, and its predecessors, between 1957 and 1973, including “Poor Little Fool” in 1958, which was the first number one song on Billboard magazine’s then-newly created Hot 100 chart. He recorded 19 additional top ten hits and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on January 21, 1987. In 1996 Nelson was ranked No. 49 on TV Guide’s 50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time.
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