Best known for her 1962 hit single "The Loco-Motion," singer Little Eva became a star at the age of 19. The late R&B artist was born Eva Narcissus Boyd on June 29, 1943, in Bellhaven, North Carolina.
Like many other singers, Boyd first shared her talents in church as a child. She later moved to New York City with dreams of making it in the music business. Boyd found a place in the vocal group Cookies and was a backup singer for sometime until her big break came while babysitting.
While watching a young child of songwriting couple Gerry Goffin and Carole King, they asked Eva to record the demo for "The Loco-Motion," a song they had just wrote. Impressed with the performance of the song, the husband and wife team decided to release it. The song soon reached the top of the pop and R&B charts. The catchy tune landed Eva an appearance on the American Bandstand television show.
Eva continued to perform live shows in New York City before moving back to North Carolina in the 1970s. In the 1980s, she began working in the music industry again, touring with an oldies show and releasing the album Back on Track (1989). Illness eventually took Eva out of the music business for good. She died of cervical cancer at the age of 59 on April 10, 2003.
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(Photo: Hulton-Deutsch Collection/Corbis)