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Paul McCartney tribute to Denny Laine: A great talent with a sense of humour

Sir Paul McCartney has paid tribute to his former bandmate Denny Laine as “a great talent with a fine sense of humour”.

Laine, who co-founded Wings and The Moody Blues, “passed away peacefully” at the age of 79 following a battle with lung disease.

On Instagram, Sir Paul wrote they had “drifted apart but in recent years managed to re-establish our friendship and share memories of our times together” and called him an “outstanding vocalist and guitar player”.

He also wrote: “Denny was a great talent with a fine sense of humour and was always ready to help other people.

“He will be missed by all his fans and remembered with great fondness by his friends. I send my condolences and best wishes to his wife, Elizabeth and family.

“Peace and love Denny. It was a pleasure to know you. We are all going to miss you.”

The singer said that when Laine was in The Moody Blues and he was in The Beatles their “two bands had a lot of respect for each other and a lot of fun together”.

The late musician also sang “brilliantly” on The Moody Blues-version of Go Now, according to Sir Paul who also paid tribute to his writing on Wings’ 1970s hit Mull Of Kintyre.

Laine’s wife Elizabeth Hines announced his death saying it was an “absolute honour and privilege to not only be his wife, but to care for him during his illness and vulnerability”.

Beginning her post to his page on Tuesday, she wrote: “My darling husband passed away peacefully early this morning.

“I was at his bedside, holding his hand as I played his favourite Christmas songs for him. He’s been singing Christmas songs the past few weeks and I continued to play Christmas songs while he’s been in ICU on a ventilator this past week.

“He and I both believed he would overcome his health setbacks and return to the rehabilitation centre and eventually home.

“Unfortunately, his lung disease, Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD), is unpredictable and aggressive; each infection weakened and damaged his lungs. He fought everyday. He was so strong and brave, never complained.

“All he wanted was to be home with me and his pet kitty, Charley, playing his gypsy guitar.”

Ms Hines also wrote that the support from the public “brought him to tears”.

Her statement ended: “My world will never be the same. Denny was an amazingly wonderful person, so loving and sweet to me. He made my days colourful, fun and full of life-just like him.

“Thank you sweetie for loving me, for all the laughter, friendship, fun and for asking me to be your wife. I will love you forever.

“Please give Denny’s friends and family the time and privacy needed as we grieve our loss.”

Born Brian Hines in Tyseley, Birmingham, in October 1944, he had been a member of Birmingham-formed The Moody Blues during the 1960s.

He then joined Sir Paul and Linda McCartney in the Wings line-up in 1971 before departing the band in the 1980s.

Laine was also part of the World Classic Rockers, a touring act that at various times included Donovan, Spencer Davis and founding member of The Eagles Randy Meisner.

He also appeared in the famous Band On The Run picture along with Sir Paul, Linda and Sir Michael Parkinson.