Benny Mardones, the soft-rock songwriter known for the ’80s smash hit “Into the Night”, has died following a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. He passed away Monday (June 29th) in his home in Menifee, California, as confirmed by Billboard. He was 73 years old.
Mardones, real name Ruben Armand Mardones, was born November 9th, 1946 in Cleveland, though he was raised in Savage, Maryland. After high school, he signed up for the US Navy and served during the Vietnam War. Following his discharge, Mardones decided to relocate to New York City to pursue a career in music.
It was there in the Big Apple that Mardones composed multiple songs with help from writing partner Alan Miles. This period also birthed “Into the Night”, which he penned alongside fellow songwriter Bobby Tepper. The 1980 Never Run, Never Hide ballad raced up the Billboard Hot 100 chart and catapulted Mardones into stardom.
But Mardones struggled with fame, and shortly after found himself wrestling with cocaine addiction and alcoholism. As a result, he moved to Syracuse and receded from the public eye for some years, until the birth of his son Michael.
The newest member of his family inspired him to return to the limelight and try his hand at music again. Mardones ended up re-recording a slightly different version of “Into the Night” for his 1989 self-titled album. This updated rendition brought renewed interest into the song and artist, and Mardones experienced a second wave of popularity.
In 2000, Mardones was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. He continued performing for a bit afterwards, especially in central New York, where he still retained sizable fame. Some 10 years later, he married a Danish woman named Jane Braemer and moved to Menifee, about 80 miles southeast of Los Angeles.
In an effort to minimize the symptoms of Parkinson’s, Mardones underwent Deep Brain Stimulation treatment in 2018. However, Mardones was still forced to manage symptoms with numerous extensive surgeries, and those led to even more complications, like issues with balance and pain problems. To help cover mounting medical costs, Mardones launched a GoFundMe campaign later that year.
While an active musician, Mardones altogether put out more than eight albums. Purchase Never Run, Never Hide here and the self-titled LP here. His catalog featured other titles like his 1978 debut, Thank God for Girls, 1981’s Too Much to Lose, 1996’s Stand by Your Man, 2002’s A Journey Through Time, and Let’s Hear It for Love from 2006.