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Michael Stanley, legendary rocker and radio host, dies at 72 after battle with lung cancer

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Music legend Michael Stanley has died.

The Cleveland musician, who ruled the local airwaves in the late 1970s and early 1980s died Friday after a seven-month battle with lung cancer, his family announced. He was 72.

Stanley had worked for the past 30 years as a disc jockey at WNCX-FM. On Wednesday, the Cleveland radio station released a statement from Stanley’s family, disclosing that he had “serious health issues” and asking fans to “keep Michael in your thoughts and prayers.” He hadn’t been on the air since Feb. 19.

On Saturday, WNCX announced that Stanley had died peacefully “with his family by his side.”

Born Michael Stanley Gee on March 25, 1948, in Cleveland, Stanley fell in love with rock ’n’ roll the first time he heard Elvis Presley, and formed a garage band, the Scepters, in 1965 as a student at Rocky River High School.

Michael Stanley

Stanley earned a sports scholarship to Hiram College, where he played baseball, worked as a disc jockey on the student radio station, majored in comparative religion and earned a bachelor’s degree in 1970.

During his sophomore year, he joined the Tree Stumps, a four-piece band, and got his first big break during a gig at Otto’s Grotto in Cleveland.

“A producer, an actual record producer just like in the movies, stumbled into this club one night,” Stanley recalled years later. “He was from New York and happened to be in Cleveland visiting a friend.”

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