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Tributes paid to lead singer Chas Hodges

Black Country comedian Lenny Henry was among the celebrities who paid tribute to musician Chas Hodges who died at the age of 74.

Chas performing at the Wulfrun Hall in 2015
Chas performing at the Wulfrun Hall in 2015

The star, best known for his time as lead vocalist for the cockney duo Chas & Dave, died in his sleep in the early hours of Saturday morning from organ failure.

A statement released on the musical duo's official Twitter revealed the sad news.

It said: "It is with tremendous sadness that we announce the passing of our very own Chas Hodges.

"Despite receiving successful treatment for oesophageal cancer recently, Chas suffered organ failure and passed away peacefully in his sleep in the early hours of this morning."

Chas had been due to play with Dave at The Diamond Banqueting Suite in Wolverhampton on October 26, but the event was cancelled back in August due to illness and the pair rescheduled for early 2019.

At the time Chas said in a statement that 'only extreme illness' had prompted him in the past to cancel a gig.

MPs, entertainers and football clubs have come together to pay tribute to the 'accomplished musician'.

Dudley-born funnyman Lenny Henry said: "What a shame. When they were on Tiswas they were always kind, respectful and played live. RIP Chas."

Others to leave touching tributes included the deputy leader of the Labour party, Tom Watson, and Tottenham Hotspur Football Club.

Mr Watson, West Bromwich East MP, said: "This is very sad.

"Chas was a very accomplished musician who brought joy to many with his performances, and Chas and Dave’s songs are in the memories of millions."

Hodges and Dave Peacock rose to fame in the English pop-rock band, known for their witty lyrics about living in London, in the 1970s.

They had a string of hits, including Rabbit, Snooker Loopy and Ain't No Pleasing You.

They also penned songs for Spurs, including 'Glory Glory Tottenham Hotspur' and 'Hot Shot Tottenham'.

A Tottenham Hotspur spokesperson said: "Everyone at the club is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of one of our own, Chas Hodges. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time."

Hodges revealed in early 2017 that he had been diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus after he struggled to swallow a glass of water, and he underwent chemotherapy.

He returned to performing last year but had to cancel all forthcoming gigs on doctor’s advice.

At the time, Hodges said in a statement that 'recent check-ups have seen no sign of cancer but the treatment has left me well below par'.

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