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1986: Thin Lizzy star dies
Phil Lynott, the former lead singer of the rock band Thin Lizzy, has died from heart failure and pneumonia after an 11-day fight for his life.

The 36-year-old rock star had been admitted to Salisbury Hospital in Wiltshire with a serious kidney and liver infection on Christmas Day, after he collapsed from a drink and drug binge at his home in Surrey.

His estranged wife, Caroline, the daughter of TV celebrity Leslie Crowther, had rushed to help him, driving 100 miles (160km) from her house in Bath to his mansion in Kew.

She drove him first to a specialist drugs clinic in Wiltshire, where doctors recommended that he should be admitted to Salisbury's intensive care unit.

Ms Crowther and her father had kept an all-night vigil by the singer's hospital bed before he died.

Destructive addiction

Icons from the music world have been giving tributes to the singer and bassist who escaped the poverty of his Dublin childhood by launching a music career.

The group found fame in the 1970s with hits like The Boys Are Back In Town released in 1976 and Dancing in the Moonlight in 1977.

The band split up in 1984 to allow Lynott to go it alone.

His albums, Solo in Soho released in 1980 and The Philip Lynott Album which came out two years later, failed to sell well and his solo career never really got off the ground.

The singer always led a flamboyant rock-and-roll lifestyle.

As he struggled to deal with the pressures of his career and problems in his personal life he became involved in drug and alcohol abuse.

Fellow Thin Lizzy member, Scott Gorham said that his problem got worse when his wife left him and took their two children.

He said: "I suppose he thought drugs would help him out of the low spots".

Band Aid hero and fellow Irishman Bob Geldof, said his friends had tried to persuade him to give up his wild life of drink and drugs.

Mr Geldof said: "He was a hard-living sort of bloke, a good bloke, a laugh but a hard nut".

Phil Lynott leaves behind two daughters, Sara aged seven, and Cathleen aged five, who were at his home when he collapsed on Christmas Day.

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Phil Lynott
Phil Lynott battled with alcohol and drug addiction


In Context
Three hundred mourners attended Phil Lynott's memorial service on 9 January 1986 at St Elizabeth's Church in Richmond, Surrey. He was buried in Dublin.

He died intestate leaving an estate valued at 114,000.

Phil Lynott was born in 1949 to a Brazilian father and Irish mother in Birmingham and brought up in Ireland by his grandmother.

Before forming Thin Lizzy, Phil Lynott served apprenticeships with Black Eagles, Skid Row and Orphanage.

He started Thin Lizzy in 1970 with Eric Bell on guitar and Brian Downey on drums. Their first hit was a novelty rock version of the traditional Irish folk song "Whisky in the jar".

The band underwent a series of changes in 1974. The arrival of guitarists Brian Robertson and Scott Gorham stabilized the line up as the band entered their most productive phase with the top selling album Jailbreak in 1976.

Throughout the 1970s and until the group split up in 1984, the band's membership continued to change. Most notably Midge Ure spent a short time with the group before joining Ultravox.


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