Page last updated at 15:01 GMT, Friday, 9 January 2009

Pop singer Dave Dee dies aged 65

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Dave Dee famously cracked a whip while singing Xanadu

British pop star Dave Dee has died at the age of 65, following a three-year battle with cancer.

The singer continued playing gigs with band members Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich until close to the end of his life, record plugger Sean Cooney said.

"He didn't let it get him down. He was defying it," Mr Cooney added.

The group had eight top 10 hits, including a UK number one single in 1968 with The Legend of Xanadu, in which Dee famously cracked a whip.

A spokeswoman for the family said that Dee died in Kingston Hospital, south-west London on Friday morning following "a long and courageous battle" with cancer.

Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich - named after the five friends' nicknames - first entered the UK chart in December 1965 with You Make it Move, which peaked at number 26.

Subsequent singles included Hold Tight!, Bend It! and Save Me.

Between 1965 and 1969 they spent more weeks in the UK singles charts than any other band.

Two of their albums charted - their eponymous debut, in 1966, followed a year later by If Music Be the Food of Love... Prepare for Indigestion.

Charity work

In 1969 Dee left the group for a short-lived solo career, but they reformed in the 1990s with Dee as lead vocalist once again.

They had recently been performing dates in the UK and Germany and were due to play another eight concerts before the end of April.

Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich
The Legend of Xanadu helped the group to find success in the US
Dee performed his last gig in Eisenburg, Germany on 20 September last year.

The singer, whose real name was David Harman, came from Wiltshire and was originally a police officer before turning his hand to music.

In the 1970s he was a founding committee member of the Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy charity and was actively involved in fundraising and increasing the profile of the organisation, for more than 30 years.

He later worked as a magistrate in Cheshire.

He is survived by his wife Joanne, daughter Olivia, twin sons Ashley and Elliot, and by Lesley, his partner during his final two years.



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