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CBGB Founder Hilly Kristal Dies at 75

As reported on, Hilly Kristal, who launched the legendary New York City punk-rock club CBGB in 1973, died on August 28 due to complications from lung cancer. Kristal was 75.

As reported by Billboard New York correspondent Cortney Harding, “Kristal founded the club in 1973 to showcase bluegrass and country acts, but it quickly became known as a breeding ground for experimental and punk music. Throughout the 1970s and ’80s, the club served as a launching pad for Blondie, the Talking Heads, Television, Living Colour, Patti Smith and The Ramones, among many others.”

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