British band Hot Chocolate’s lead singer, Errol Brown, has died aged 71 at home in the Bahamas after suffering from liver cancer.
British band Hot Chocolate frontman Errol Brown has been confirmed dead at home in the Bahamas, aged 71, The Guardian has learned. According to his manager Phil Dale, the singer had been suffering from liver cancer.
The singer was part of Hot Chocolate's most successful singles "Love Is Life" and a remix of "You Sexy Thing" which topped several charts including Top of the Pops in the UK.
Brown was born in Jamaica and moved to Britain with his mother when he was 12. Hot Chocolate were initially signed to the Beatles’ Apple label, after John Lennon heard their reggae version of "Give Peace a Chance" which was recorded when Brown was 21 and liked it.
The hits began, though, when the group teamed up with the producer Mickie Most at Rak Records in 1970, and they had a top 20 hit every year from then until 1984. Though songs such as "You Sexy Thing" and "Every 1’s a Winner" became staples of British pop, the group’s only No. 1 was 1977’s "So You Win Again."
Their career was revived in 1997, when "You Sexy Thing" was featured in the hit movie The Full Monty. It was the only song to be a top 10 hit in the 1970s, 80s and 90s.
In the early 80s, Brown also became known as that rare thing: a pop musician who was publicly and proudly Tory. While Margaret Thatcher was prime minister he appeared at the Conservative party conference and treated delegates to a rendition of John Lennon’s Imagine.
After Hot Chocolate split in 1986, Brown began a solo career that never matched the success of the band. However, he was recognised for his career in music, being awarded the MBE in 2003 and an Ivor Novello award for his contribution to music in 2004.