TRIBUTES have been paid to Monkees lead singer Davy Jones, who died of a heart attack at the age of 66.
The Manchester-born star, who lived in Hollywood, Florida, was rushed to hospital suffering from a cardiac arrest, but could not be resuscitated.
His manager and brother-in-law Joseph Pacheco described him as a “incredible human being”.
Jones found fame as the frontman of the 60s group The Monkees, who had nine top 40 hits including I’m A Believer, Daydream Believer and Last Train To Clarksville.
He was rushed to Martin Hospital South in Stuart, Florida, but was pronounced dead.
A spokeswoman for the Medical Examiner’s Office for Martin County, Florida, said: “The District 19 Medical Examiner’s Office has been informed of the death of Mr Davy Jones.
“The Medical Examiner’s Office will take jurisdiction and a possible autopsy will be performed and evaluation of the circumstances of death and medical information.”
Jones is survived by his third wife Jessica, his four daughters, Talia Jones, Sarah McFadden, Jessica Cramar and Annabel Jones - three sisters, Hazel Wilkinson, Beryl Leigh and Lynda Moore, and three grandchildren, Harrison and Lauren McFadden and Phoenix Burrows.
Mr Pacheco said: “All of his family, friends and fans mourn Davy’s loss.
“We were fortunate to have such an incredible human being in our lives.
“Sadly, his time on Earth was cut far too short and he will be missed tremendously by all who knew him.”
The star’s former bandmate Peter Tork said in a statement on Facebook: “It is with great sadness that I reflect on the sudden passing of my long-time friend and fellow-adventurer, David Jones.
“His talent will be much missed; his gifts will be with us always. My deepest sympathy to Jessica and the rest of his family.
“Adios, to the Manchester Cowboy. Peace and love, Peter T.”
On the social networking site, fellow Monkees star Mike Nesmith said: “So many lovely and heartfelt messages of condolence and sympathy, I don’t know what to say, except my sincere thank you to all. I share and appreciate your feelings.”
He added: “David’s spirit and soul live well in my heart, among all the lovely people, who remember with me the good times, and the healing times, that were created for so many, including us. I have fond memories. I wish him safe travels.”
Jones, who was best known as the frontman of the band put together to star in their own TV show, had an early start in showbusiness when he appeared as Ena Sharples’ grandson in Coronation Street.
He also appeared in Z Cars before leaving showbusiness to train as a jockey but came back to acting, playing the Artful Dodger in a stage production of Oliver!
He appeared in the West End and followed the show to Broadway, landing a Tony nomination, and built up a career as an actor and singer before he auditioned for The Monkees.
Despite a flurry of hits, the band were initially criticised for the manufactured nature of their career, with Californian rivals The Byrds mocking them in their single So You Want To Be A Rock ‘n’ Roll Star.
But they eventually proved themselves, writing more of their own songs, playing live on tour, and later starring in 1960s cult film Head with Jack Nicholson.
And only last year, Jones was touring the heritage circuit once again as he teamed up with most of his bandmates from the slapstick show.
In a statement Jones’s publicist, Helen Kensick, said he died near his passion - his horses - with his wife an hour away.
It said he was an integral part of the community, involved in philanthropy and committed to helping others.
Former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr also paid tribute, saying: “I was listening to some Monkees records recently, I like a lot of them. He has a legacy because people are talking about him today.
“There are a lot of musicians who have passed away who people don’t remember. And he was from Manchester as well and he looked good and had good hair.”