Real-life Peggy Sue, who inspired Buddy Holly classic, has died aged 78

Peggy Sue, the woman who inspired the Buddy Holly classic hit song, has died. Source: Getty

Peggy Sue Gerron, better known as the woman who inspired Buddy Holly’s 1957 classic hit ‘Peggy Sue’, has sadly passed away.

Peggy Sue died at the age of 78 on Monday at the University Medical Center in Lubbock, Texas, according to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, however no cause of death has yet been released.

While Holly’s classic song was all about a girl named Peggy, she was actually not in a relationship with the ‘50s crooner. Instead, she was with Holly’s The Crickets band mate Jerry Allison. In fact, the pair got married in 1958 and she even inspired ‘Peggy Sue Got Married’, a sequel to the original hit.

Read more: The emotional and inspiring story behind ‘The Buddy Holly Story’

Holly sadly passed away in 1959 after a plane accident and the track was released after his death. Still, he’d always had history with Gerron, who went to school in Texas with both Allison and Holly. While Holly was famous all around the world for his love ballad about Gerron, she also explained that the song made her famous. Writing on her website before her death, she explained that people around the world sought her picture, autograph and story.

She was born in 1940 in Olton, Texas, but grew up in Lubbock. She was a teenager when the song was released and recalled meeting Holly at Lubbock High School after he accidentally knocked her over. Even after Holly’s death, Gerron would tour with The Crickets as they toured America. Although her marriage with Allison didn’t last, Gerron remarried and had two children. Her fame faded, but she became a household name again in 1978 when a Buddy Holly movie was released.

In her later years, Gerron spent her time as a celebrity speaker, radio host and columnist. She also wrote an autobiography called Whatever Happened to Peggy Sue? in 2008.

Read more: Which Buddy Holly song was inspired by John Wayne?

Fans have flooded social media with memories of the woman behind one of rock and roll’s favourite hits.

One person wrote: “Sad to hear the one and only Peggy Sue has passed today in a Lubbock, TX hospital. RIP Peggy Sue Gerron.”

Another said: “I have just had the heartbreaking news that Peggy Sue has Passed away in Lubbock Texas today. So very sad! Peggy Sue you were a true legend and a wonderful lady! I’m sure Buddy will be there waiting to sing to you again! RIP Peggy Sue!”

A third added: “Found out that the gal Buddy Holly wrote ‘Peggy Sue’ about passed away yesterday, IM SO SAD.”

Do you remember listening to Buddy Holly? Were you a fan of ‘Peggy Sue?’

Sue's sassy!

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