Frankie Lymon, small oil portrait. Despite looking like a fresh-faced cherub, and with a celestial voice to match, Frankie Lymon was a troubled soul. He became famous early, at thirteen, and caused a scandal when he danced with a white girl on Alan Freed’s TV show The Big Beat in 1957. He had three wives – and reportedly never divorced before he remarried. Frankie died of a heroin overdose at the age of twenty five in Harlem, New York. his was a tragic and unhappy life and yet the records and his voice bely that.