Singer Alvin Stardust dead at 72

Alvin Stardust has died at 72
Alvin Stardust has died at 72
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Tributes have been paid to singer and actor Alvin Stardust who has died aged 72 after a short illness.

He had recently been diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer and died at home with his wife, Julie Paton, and family around him.

Alvin Stardust has died at 72

Alvin Stardust has died at 72

The singer - real name Bernard Jewry - started out in the music business in the 1960s but became a huge star on the back of the 1970s glam rock craze, scoring hits with tracks including My Coo Ca Choo and Jealous Mind.

His retro rock ‘n’ roll sound, distinctive quiff, sideburns and eccentric outfits - often complete with a pair of black leather gloves - made him one of the most distinctive acts to grace the charts in the ‘70s.

Among those paying tribute was Radio 5 Live DJ presenter Nicky Campbell, who said: “Pointing at the camera with his single leather glove. ‘Lay down and groove on the mat’. He did the attitude consummately. Alvin Stardust RIP”.

Veteran DJ Tony Blackburn said: “So sorry to hear about Alvin Stardust. He was a lovely man and gave us some great songs. RIP.”

Alvin Stardust has died at 72

Alvin Stardust has died at 72

Stardust, who lived in Billingshurst, West Sussex, was still performing until recently and working on a new album - his first in 30 years - which is due for release later this month.

His manager, Andy Davies, said: “Alvin and I had only started working together over the last couple of years because he and I believed that musically he still had a great deal to give and explore, and so we recorded an album that is a testament to an artist who gave his career to music.

“I may not have known him long but even in that short time he proved to be one of the most genuine and likeable men I’ve ever met. His passing is a huge and sad loss.”

He was married three times. His second wife was actress Liza Goddard.

Alvin Stardust has died at 72

Alvin Stardust has died at 72

Born in London, Stardust grew up in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, and started playing guitar as a schoolboy. He met one of his biggest influences, Buddy Holly, at a gig in Doncaster and played backstage with the singer and his band the Crickets.

He signed his first record deal in 1961 as the frontman of Shane Fenton And The Fentones but the band struggled to get in the charts despite regular touring in Europe and the UK.

In 1973, he signed up with Magnet Records and took on the name that would make him famous - scoring hit after hit as Alvin Stardust.

His success continued into the 1980s, with Pretend, I Feel Like Buddy Holly and I Won’t Run Away all making the top 10.

At the height of his fame in the mid-1970s, he appeared on TV as part of the Green Cross Code road safety campaign.

Turning to acting, he appeared in a string of musicals including playing the Child Catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at the London Palladium.

He presented his own children’s show, It’s Stardust, on ITV and appeared in dramas including Hollyoaks and Doctors.

His final album, called Alvin, will be released on Monday.

Michael Levy, who founded Magnet Records and now sits in the House of Lords as Lord Levy, said the death of the star was “a sad day”.

He said: “He was one of the most professional artists that I had the privilege of working with.

“He was a real gentleman. Whenever he did TV or a radio appearance he would always thank the staff or the producer. He knew the score and knew what he was doing, he knew he had been given an opportunity and was prepared to graft to make the most of it.

“Whenever he did any promotional work anywhere in the world we always got the same reports that he was a gentleman and a pleasure to work with.”

One of Stardust’s most prized possessions - a three quarter sized Spanish guitar his parents bought him for his 12th birthday in 1954 - was recently the subject of a BBC Radio 2 documentary.

He took the guitar with him when he went to see Buddy Holly who autographed it and he later named the instrument Peggy Sue after one of the US singer’s hits.

It was later signed by other acts he met on the road including The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Billy Fury and Chuck Berry and was said to have been insured for more than £1.25 million.