Spencer Davis, the Welsh bandleader for the chart-topping Spencer Davis Group, died at age 81 while being treated for pneumonia.
The musician received critical acclaim in both his native country and Ireland, entering the Irish top ten charts three times with hits like “Gimme Some Lovin’”, “Somebody Help Me” and “Keep on Running”. The latter two even managed to be No. 1 singles in the UK.
Born in Swansea in 1939, Davis’ agent Bob Birk confirmed that the artist passed away on Tuesday in hospital.
Davis would move to Birmingham for university, and it was there that he formed the legendary Spencer Davis Group - named as such because he was the only member who liked doing press interviews.
After they started topping the charts, they would go on to tour with other iconic rock bands in the 60s such as The Who and The Rolling Stones. In the end, they made the British top 40 seven times before singer Stevie Winwood left the band.
With their dynamic frontman gone, the band would go on to record a few more minor hits, but ultimately did split after Davis decided to move to California in 1967.
Fellow musician Badly Drawn Boy paid tribute to him, tweeting: "Sad news. Spencer Davis. Legend”.
Gary Kemp of Spandau Ballet also paid respect, tweeting: “RIP Spencer Davis. He led a magnificent band, one of the greats of the 60s, along with Muff and Steve Winwood. Keep in Running and Gimme Some Lovin’ were R&B classics. He drove soul into the white rock sound of the time.”
Davis’ agent, who worked with him for over 30 years, said in a statement that: “He was a very good friend.”
“He was a highly ethical, very talented, good-hearted, extremely intelligent, generous man. He will be missed.”
Spencer Davis is survived by his partner June and three adult children.