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Folk-rock singer Jeff Buckley’s body found in Memphis harbor

June 5, 1997 GMT

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) _ Singer Jeff Scott Buckley, who had a hit in 1994 with the rock song ``Last Goodbye,″ drowned while swimming. He was 30.

Buckley, son of the late folk-rock singer Tim Buckley, was in Memphis to record an album, publicists at Columbia Records said.

His body was found Wednesday in a harbor leading to the Mississippi River near where he disappeared while swimming Thursday. It was spotted by a passenger on the American Queen riverboat at the foot of the city’s famous Beale Street, WMC-TV said, citing police sources.

Police confirmed that the body had a pierced navel _ like Buckley’s _ and was wearing the same clothes that Buckley was wearing when he disappeared.

Keith Foti, a friend who went on a riverside outing with Buckley, said the singer waded into the water fully clothed and was floating on his back when a towboat went by. Foti said he turned to move their portable stereo away from the riverbank, so the wave from the boat wouldn’t get it wet, and when he turned back Buckley was gone.

Unlike the haunting melodies his father sang, Buckley’s music leaned more toward rock. Critics compared his voice to Van Morrison and his bombastic lyrics to Led Zeppelin.

Buckley’s 1994 album, ``Grace,″ included the alternative hit ``Last Goodbye,″ which reached No. 19 on Billboard’s modern rock chart.

After attending high school in New York, Buckley moved to Los Angeles to study music. He played jazz and funk before joining the reggae band Shinehead.

He later returned to New York, where he honed his performances in the East Village and formed the short-lived band Gods & Monsters. Later he launched a solo career and in 1993 released the five-song live EP ``Live at Sin-e″ with Columbia.

Tim Buckley died from a drug overdose in 1975 at age 28.