The lead singer of famed 1970s band Hot Chocolate has died at the age of 71. Errol Brown’s passing was confirmed by his manager on May 6.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Brown Died After Suffering From Liver Cancer
He had been suffering from liver cancer. The BBC reports that he passed away at his home in the Bahamas. His manager, Phil Dale, told Sky News that Brown was “a wonderful gentleman…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.”
2. His Band Were One of Princess Diana’s Favorites
He’s best remembered for his hits “You Sexy Thing,” “It Started With a Kiss,” and “Everyone’s a Winner.” At the height of his band, Hot Chocolate’s, fame, they entertained the crowd at Princess Diana and Prince Charles’ pre-wedding reception in 1981, according a 2013 that members of the band did. The article notes that they were one of Diana’s favorite bands. Brown left the band in 1985. He was a native of Jamaica. Brown moved to London when he was 12 years old. In 1969, he got his singing start when he recorded a version of John Lennon’s “Give Peace a Chance.” A message on his website thanked his fans for coming out in force for his 2009 farewell tour. He wrote:
I would like to thank you for coming out in large numbers right across the UK to once again show your love and support. The atmosphere at the concerts were the best ever and you played your part in making me realise just how wrong it would have been to have just drifted away and not say goodbye. The love I felt at each concert will stay in my heart forever. I wish you love peace and happiness in your lives. Love You, Errol x
3. He Was Honored by the Queen in 2003
In 2003, Brown was awarded an Order of the British Empire for his services to music by the Queen of England, according to his bio on ErrolBrown.com. A year later, in 2004, his service to music was further recognized when he received the Ivor Novello award.
4. He Was Married for Over 30 Years
He's survived by his wife of over 30 years, Ginette and his two daughters, Leonie and Collette. The family lived on the Bahamas where Brown practiced his addiction, golf, according to an interview.
5. He Owned Racehorses But Never Bet More Than $100 on a Race