American singer/songwriter POOKIE HUDSON died of thymus cancer at his home in Maryland on Tuesday (16JAN07). He was 72. Hudson, real name THORNTON JAMES HUDSON, was the lead singer of doo wop group THE SPANIELS, and recorded 1954 hit GOODNIGHT, SWEETHEART, GOODNIGHT, which reached the top five on the US charts. The star was forced to stop performing last year (06) when the thymus cancer returned after a period of remission, with complications arising from the illness causing his death. His publicist BILL CARPENTER paid tribute to the star, saying, "He really made a blueprint for what a crooner should sound like. It was an unmistakable voice. I think that his voice, that smooth tenor, was the voice that influenced Smokey Robinson. It influenced Aaron Neville." He is survived by his wife DELORES, nine children and 16 grandchildren.