William Edward John (November 15, 1937 – May 26, 1968), better known by his stage name Little Willie John, was an American R&B singer who performed in the 1950s and early 1960s. He is best known for his popular music chart hits, such as “Fever” in 1956 (later covered in 1958 by Peggy Lee).
Infamous for his short temper and propensity to abuse alcohol, Willie John was dropped by his record company in 1963. In 1966, he was convicted of manslaughter and sent to Washington State Penitentiary following a fatal knifing incident after a show in Seattle. He appealed against his conviction and was released while the case was reconsidered, during which time he recorded what was intended to be his comeback album, but owing to contractual wrangling and the decline of his appeal, it was not released until 2008. He died in 1968 at Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla, Washington. His official cause of death (at the age of just 30) was listed on the death certificate as a heart attack. (Info from Wikipedia.)