Tributes paid to Andy Williams, America’s singing ‘treasure’

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Tributes have been paid to US crooner Andy Williams, who has died aged 84.

His publicist, Paul Shefrin, said Williams died on Tuesday 
night at his US home following a year-long battle with bladder cancer.

Williams said in November 2011 that he was diagnosed with cancer but planned to continue performing.

Williams began singing with his brothers as a child, and his easy style and mellow voice led president Ronald Reagan to call him “a national treasure”.

He had more than 20 hit singles over 50 years including Moon River, Music To Watch Girls By and Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.

The Andy Williams Show, which lasted in various formats on television through the 1960s and into 1971, won three Emmys and featured Williams alternately performing his stable of hits and bantering casually with his guest stars.

He had 18 gold records and three platinum, was nominated for five Grammy awards and hosted the Grammy ceremonies for several years.

DJ Tony Blackburn said he had “so many great songs”.

Writing on Twitter, he said: “One of the best concerts I ever went to was Andy Williams at the Royal Albert Hall many years ago, he was tremendous.”

Charlatans’ frontman Tim Burgess said: “Another sad loss. Andy Williams was a real smooth guy, that’s for sure. Rest in peace, Andy”.

His 2002 hit re-recording of Can’t Take My Eyes Off You saw him team up with Denise Van Outen, who said he was “a true gentleman”.

She said: “I was fortunate enough to not only sing and work with someone I had loved and admired over the years, but I also got to know him as a person.

“He was one of the kindest, sweetest and most generous people I have ever met. He had such amazing presence, incredible energy and was 
never affected by fame or success.”