Errol Brown, co-founder and frontman of British soul band Hot Chocolate, has died aged 71 after losing his battle with liver cancer.
The singer, whose smash hits included You Sexy Thing and Everyone's a Winner, passed away at his home in the Bahamas with his wife of 35 years Ginette and daughters Leonie and Colette at his bedside.
That he was surrounded by his loved ones was a fitting end for the soul singer, who famously quit showbusiness in 1985 to spend more time with his family - only to have a second crack at the big time when You Sexy Thing was used in 1997 film The Full Monty.
Errol Brown was born on 12 November 1943 in Kingston, Jamaica but moved to the UK when he was twelve years old. When he arrived in south London, his mother sent him to a private school where he soon lost his west Indian accent and spoke with a more middle class voice. He said: “I was with boys who wanted to be doctors, lawyers. Where I was before, they wanted to be postmen, bus drivers. Your ambitions changed.”
His break in music came in 1969 when he recorded a version of John Lennon's "Give Peace a Chance", with some friends. Unable to change the lyrics without Lennon's permission he sent a copy to his record label, Apple, and the song was released with Lennon's approval.
The Hot Chocolate albums were produced by Mickie Most and recorded at the RAK Records studio. Brown had a solo career since the 1980s, and achieved music success in the clubs with the 1987 single "Body Rocking", produced by Richard James Burgess.
Brown was a supporter of the Conservative Party, and performed at a party conference in the 1980s. In 1981, he performed at the wedding reception following the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer, at Buckingham Palace.
Rest in peace Errol