Dan Hicks, the singer/songwriter and frontman for the band Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks, died Saturday following a two-year battle with cancer. He was 74.
In a statement posted to Hicks’ website, his wife, CT, wrote, “My darling darling husband left this earth early this morning. He was true blue, one of a kind, and did it all his own way always. To all who loved him, know that he will live forever in the words, songs, and art that he spent his life creating. He worked so hard on each and every detail — they are all pure Dan.“
Hicks got his start in the ’60s with the San Francisco-based band The Charlatans, after which Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks was formed in 1967. The group went on to record five records for the labels Columbia, Warner Bros., and Blue Thumb.
Hicks, known for blending elements of various genres like swing, jazz, folk, and country, reformed the Hot Licks in 1999 when he signed with Surfdog Records. This incarnation released 2000’s Beatin’ the Heat, which featured collaborations with Bette Midler, Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, Rickie Lee Jones, and Brian Setzer.
Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks released their 10th studio album, Tangled Tales, in 2009, and their first Christmas album, Crazy for Christmas, in 2010.
Tim Burgess, the lead singer of The Charlatans, wrote on Twitter following Hicks’ death, “We discovered his band as we accidentally borrowed their name, an honour to have shared it.”