Errol Brown Dead: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Hot Chocolate – You Sexy Thing (Live 1976)An interracial English funk and soul group, Hot Chocolate scored a pair of huge hits in the '70s but were otherwise more enthusiastic than skilled. Lead singer Erroll Brown, guitarist Harvey Hinsley, keyboardist Larry Ferguson, bassist Tony Wilson, drummer Tony Connor, and conga player Pat Olive were the original lineup. They recorded for Big Tree from 1975 to 1978, scoring a Top Ten R&B and pop hit with "You Sexy Thing" in 1975, which also was a gold single. They repeated the trick in 1978 with "Every 1's a Winner," once more earning a gold single in the process. No other Hot Chocolate song ever made it beyond number 40 on the R&B chart, and their albums never packed much commercial punch either. Wilson departed in 1975, and Olive switched to bass in his place. ~ Ron Wynn, All Music Guide _______________________________ A 1987 remix by Ben Liebrand hit number 10. It was also covered by Deee-Lite in 1994. When it was featured in the movie, The Full Monty in 1997, it went to number six in the chart. It is the only song to enter the UK Top Ten in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. "You Sexy Thing" was covered by Tom Tom Club in 1992 on their album Dark Sneak Love Action. Two more covers were released at almost the same time as the 1997 re-issue of the Hot Chocolate original. Thus, for one week, the UK Singles Chart boasted three versions of the song. One cover was by the pop/dance act Clock. The other version, by T-Shirt, featuring Chloé Treend, went to number 1 in New Zealand and sold triple platinum in Australia. Hot Chocolate lead singer Errol Brown appeared in the film clip. Both were re-workings with the original music and lyrics but with new added additional rap/vocal segments. The Stereophonics also covered the song for the Radio 1: Established 1967 album.2009-01-15T03:36:21.000Z

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

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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

Aside from music, Brown was known for his love of race horses, most famously Gainsay. He told the Daily Telegraph in 2009 that he never bet more than 100 bucks on a race.