HOT Chocolate frontman Errol Brown has died aged 71.
The singer, famous for hits including You Sexy Thing and It Started With A Kiss, died at home in the Bahamas.
His manager, Phil Dale, said he had suffered from liver cancer.
Brown, who is survived by his wife Ginette and two daughters, Colette and Leonie, was made an MBE in 2003.
Mr Dale said he was “a wonderful gentleman”.
He said: “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.
“Errol was a lover of life and obviously music.
“I never went into his home, car or a hotel room without music playing. And it always played constantly in his dressing room before a concert.
“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.”
Brown scored his first success with Hot Chocolate in 1970 with the top 10 track Love Is Life and went on to have more than 20 top 40 hits, many of which he wrote.
You Sexy Thing made it into the top 10 three times - helped along in 1997 by its use in the film The Full Monty - and the band had their only number one with So You Win Again in 1977. It Started With A Kiss also charted three times.
The band, who got together in Brixton, south London, had fans in high places and in 1981 they played at a pre-wedding bash in Buckingham Palace for the Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer.
The singer, who moved to Britain from Jamaica with his mother at the age of 12, was given an Ivor Novello award for his outstanding contribution to British music in 2004.
Among those paying tribute was singer Beverley Knight who said: “I am so gutted. Errol Brown was such a charismatic performer”, while DJ Dave Haslam called him a “great performer”.
Former Grand National-winning trainer Jenny Pitman has spoken of her sadness at the news.
Brown owned the likes of Cheltenham Festival winner Gainsay and Do Be Brief during his time involved in British racing, and became great friends with Grand National-winning trainer Pitman.
She said: “He was so kind to me and my family and it is such sad news, he was only 71.
“I actually trained for a few people in the pop world, David Walker from Status Quo and Rod Stewart’s manager, I don’t know why they came to me.
“Peter Callender (songwriter and producer) introduced Errol to me and it went from there.
“He was a very normal man and not in any way ‘showbizzy’.
“We enjoyed winners at all the big tracks, I remember him leading Gainsay in at Cheltenham one day and then letting go of his head to salute the crowd and they went wild.
“There was another day at Aintree when the BBC played Every 1’s A Winner, too.
“We went to one of his last shows in Birmingham and were lucky enough to go out for dinner with him after, it was special.
“Watching him perform was great, he built the crowd into a frenzy.
“He was an absolute gentleman.”