STATEN ISLAND, NY--Johnny Maestro, singer for The Brooklyn Bridge and The Crests who
had big doo-wop hits like "16 Candles," "Worst That Could Happen," and "Model Girl," died yesterday at his home in Florida of cancer. He was 70 years old.

Maestro's bari-tenor voice, while strong as he continued to perform even as recently as last year, wasn't as remarkable as some of his peers'. But his career certainly was. Forming The Crests in the early 1950s, Maestro led one of the first successful interracial groups of its kind, breaking down color barriers in the pop genre. His later hit with the Del-Satins and The Brooklyn Bridge, "Your Husband, My Wife," drew controversy for dealing with the issue of infidelity. A New York native who lived in Great Kills and Midland Beach for some 11 years, Maestro was in Staten Island for a Valentine's Day gig at the St. George Theatre in 2009. As a guy who never stopped gigging, Maestro had plenty to say about his own career. He said the following to AWE in a preview of the group's performance: "In the '50s we did sing a lot about romance, love, and angels — and motorcycle crashes," said Maestro. "We'll be singing 'Unchained Melody' here, definitely, and dedicate it to all the young ladies in the audience. We'll also do Jackie Wilson's 'Lonely Teardrops,' and Tina Turner's 'River Deep, Mountain High.' But we do mostly all of our own recordings. I've learned that people want to hear what we're known for."