Publicist: 'Moon River' singer Andy Williams dead at 84

Singer had ties to Palm Springs and Coachella valley

BRANSON, Mo. - Emmy-winning TV host and "Moon River" crooner Andy Williams has died at age 84.

Williams' publicist, Paul Shefrin, said Wednesday that the silky-voiced singer died Tuesday night at his home in Branson, Mo., following a year-long battle with bladder cancer.

Williams had ties to the Coachella valley where he loved to golf, had a home and enjoyed taking in what he called the stark beauty of the surrounding desert areas.

Williams said in an interview he had regularly traveled to the desert since 1965 often visiting more than once a year.

Williams said in November 2011 that he was diagnosed with bladder cancer but planned to continue performing at the namesake theater he built in Branson in 1992.

The clean-cut Iowa native began singing with his brothers as a child, and his easy style and mellow voice led President Ronald Reagan to call Williams "a national treasure." Though his version of "Moon River" made him world famous, it was among his many hits, including "Butterfly" and "Can't Get Used to Losing You."

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