He was 71.
His son, Sean, confirmed the death on Wednesday. “Because of his religious beliefs, we’re not even sure what (the illness) was,” he said.
Ely was an original member of the Kingsmen, a band formed in 1959 that mostly performed cover versions of songs. Four years later, the group recorded Louie Louie at a studio in their home city of Portland. It was reputed to have cost $36 to produce.
The song was written in the mid-1950s by Richard Berry, a Los Angeles musician with roots in doo-wop music.