Frank Ifield tributes after death of Coventry music legend who helped launch The Beatles

Coventry music legend Frank Ifield has died. The iconic singer, dubbed the city's most successful recording artist, died peacefully in his sleep, reports have said.

The singer, who is is honoured on the city's music Wall of Fame, was born in Coundon in November 1937 and moved to Australia at the age of three. But he did not forget his roots and, during the height of his fame, made frequent appearances at The Coventry Theatre.

Frank had four UK number one singles. This was in an era when being number one in the charts guaranteed stardom.

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He also famously helped to launch The Beatles' career, having them open for him. It exposed the Liverpool lads to his massive fanbase and helped kickstart their careers.

He made a visit back to his home city in 2013, where he visited the theatre as well as his old childhood house before visiting the Wall of Fame. He died, aged 86, at the weekend, the Mirror has reported.

It was his friend, Glenn A. Baker, a music historian and journalist, who shared the heartbreaking news on social media. A post on Facebook read: "I just took a call from David Ifield, telling me that his brother FRANK IFIELD peacefully passed on this Saturday night, at age 86.

UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 01: Singer Frank Ifield performs on stage in the 1960's. (Photo by David Redfern/Redferns)
UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 01: Singer Frank Ifield performs on stage in the 1960's. (Photo by David Redfern/Redferns) -Credit:David Redfern

"There is so much to be said about this remarkable man, who had four number ones in Britain, three of them before the Beatles (who he had briefly support him in concert). I Remember You became an indelible hit all around the world and a perfect signature song.

"It topped the U.K. charts for 7 weeks. This is not the time to say any more than my thoughts are with Frank's brothers and his wife Carole and to say how fortunate I was to see him earlier this year. I'm still gathering my thoughts."

Having moved from Coventry to Sydney, he developed a passion for country music and yodelling. When he received a guitar from his grandmother at the tender age of 13, he taught himself to play and started penning songs.

When he was only 19, he had already released an incredible 44 records and was the top recording artist in Australia, New Zealand, and Tasmania. He then made the move to London in 1959, where he went on to become an international sensation after scoring four number-one hits on the UK singles chart: I Remember You, Lovesick Blues, The Wayward Wind, and Confessin' That I Love You.

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