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Friday 15 December 2017

Tributes pour in as glam rock legend Alvin Stardust dies at 72

Singer Alvin Stardust performs on stage during Day 2 of the Vintage at Goodwood Festival. The 72-year-old singer died yesterday on the eve of a planned comeback tour. Photo credit: Chris Jackson/Getty Images for Vintage at Goodwood
Singer Alvin Stardust performs on stage during Day 2 of the Vintage at Goodwood Festival. The 72-year-old singer died yesterday on the eve of a planned comeback tour. Photo credit: Chris Jackson/Getty Images for Vintage at Goodwood
18th November 1975: English glam pop singer Alvin Stardust performing. (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)
Alvin Stardust (Shane Fenton), British pop singer performing on stage. Original Publication: People Disc - HO0289 (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

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.

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."

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."

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

Born in London, Stardust grew up in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, and started playing guitar as a schoolboy.

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.

hnews@herald.ie

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