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Last Updated: Friday, 13 June, 2003, 23:38 GMT 00:38 UK
Errol Brown's musical legacy
Errol Brown
Errol Brown has had hits throughout the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s
Pop legend Errol Brown - best known as the lead singer with the 1970s pop group Hot Chocolate - has been made an MBE in the Queen's birthday honours.

Brown, 54, has been recognised for his services to popular music in a career spanning more than 30 years.

But, as the frontman for Hot Chocolate, Brown will be forever associated with a host of all-time dance hits, especially You Sexy Thing.

The song - a top 10 single in the 1970s and 1980s - was written by Brown, as were most of Hot Chocolate's tracks.

You Sexy Thing later put Brown back into the spotlight in the 1990s when it was featured in the worldwide movie hit The Full Monty in 1997, and again went into the charts.

Hot Chocolate hits
Love Is Life
You Could've Been A Lady
I Believe (In Love)
You'll Always Be A Friend
Brother Louie
Cheri Babe
Disco Queen
Child's Prayer
You Sexy Thing
Don't Stop It Now
Man to Man
Heaven is in the Black Seat

Brown's musical career began in earnest in 1969, when he and some friends sent their own reggae version of Give Peace A Chance to its writer John Lennon.

Lennon liked the track and it was released on the Beatles' Apple label, attributed to The Hot Chocolate Band - a name that was later shortened.

Towards the end of 1969, Brown and his friend Tony Wilson were signed up as songwriters by the late record producer Mickey Most.

Most recorded their songs with Mary Hopkins, Julie Felix and Herman's Hermits.

Tours and re-releases

Meanwhile, Brown's success as a singer, as well as a songwriter, was just about to begin.

Hot Chocolate released their first single Love Is Life in 1970 and the song went to number six in the charts.

From then on, the group had at least one hit every year between 1970 and 1984.

With such a success rate, Hot Chocolate became the only group in the UK to have a hit for 15 consecutive years.

In 1985, Brown left the band to spend more time with his family.

He made a comeback in 1990 and 1993 with solo tours of the UK, before unwittingly finding new fame because of The Full Monty.

Similarly, Brown found himself with another hit in the singles chart when EMI re-released Hot Chocolate's It Started With A Kiss.

A greatest hits album was also issued and made the top 10.

Brown was born in Jamaica but has been in the UK since moving there with his mother when he was 12.


Royal roll call
Roger Moore, David Beckham and Jamie Oliver are honoured by the Queen.


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