Hot Chocolate frontman Errol Brown dead, aged 71
The musician - who had suffered from liver cancer in recent years - passed away on Thursday at his home in the Bahamas, his manager Phil Dale has confirmed.
Phil described Brown as "a wonderful gentleman" and added: "There was always music around wherever he was. I've been with him in the middle of Australia and he has got an idea for a song and started writing."
The star had a string of hits with the band throughout the 1970s and '80s, with tracks such as 'You Sexy Thing', 'Every 1's a Winner' and 'So You Win Again' charting in over 50 countries.
Errol was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to popular music for the United Kingdom in 2003, and later went on to receive an Ivor Novello Award for outstanding contributions to British music the following year.
The frontman - who also had hits with 'Emma' and 'It Started with a Kiss' - completed a farewell tour in 2009, and admitted at the time he felt his time had come to retire because he was "losing energy".
He said: "I just feel it's time now. I'm losing energy.
"Now in my life I feel I've done my thing, and I don't want to come out half-heartedly. It's time."
Following the tour, Errol thanked his fans for their support by saying the love he felt at the string of shows would stay in his "heart forever".
He wrote: "I would like to thank you for coming out in large numbers right across the UK to once again show your love and support.
"The atmosphere at the concerts were the best ever and you played your part in making me realise just how wrong it would have been to have just drifted away and not say goodbye. The love I felt at each concert will stay in my heart forever. I wish you love peace and happiness in your lives. Love You, Errol x (sic)."
This popped up as breaking news.. I am so gutted. Errol Brown was such a charismatic performer. 😢 http://t.co/Bdl1gO2MN8— Beverley Knight (@Beverleyknight) May 6, 2015
Beverley Knight and Nile Rodgers have led tributes to Hot Chocolate frontman Errol Brown.
She tweeted: "I am so gutted. Errol Brown was such a charismatic performer."
Former Suede member Bernard Butler wrote: "Ah goodbye Errol Brown. Always reminds me of the congas thru the wahwah under the desk, Mickie Most and @RAK_Studios @nigelgod (sic)"
Chic singer Nile also took to the social media site to remember the late star.
The 62-year-old performer tweeted: "We had some good times back in the day. #ErrolBrown RIP"
Drummer Jon Atkinson, who toured with the singer more than 10 years ago, wrote: "Really sad to hear of the passing of Errol Brown. I toured with him in 2003/4..he was an absolute star.A really lovely guy and amazing voice (sic)."
Chris Evans revealed he is planning to dedicate a portion of his radio show to Errol later today (07.05.15), while choreographer Arlene Phillips fondly remembered the singer's unique voice, writing: "RIP Errol Brown, such a lovely and talented man with a voice of velvet."
The musician's manager Phil Dale confirmed his death in a statement, adding: "Errol was a gentle man and was a personal friend of mine who will be sadly missed by everyone who knew him. His greatest legacy is that his music will live on."
The singer, who is survived by his wife Ginette and two daughters Colette and Leonie, was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to popular music for the United Kingdom in 2003, and later went on to receive an Ivor Novello Award for outstanding contributions to British music the following year.