Peter Skellern dead: 'You're a Lady' singer dies, aged 69

'The love he brought to us will continue to be shared with everyone through his music. We will miss him with all our hearts,' says singer's family

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The Independent Culture

Musician and "You're a Lady" singer Peter Skellern has died, aged 69.

The singer and pianist, who rose to fame for the hit single in the 1970s, revealed he had an inoperable brain tumour last October.

His family announced his death in a statement, saying they would miss the singer with all their “hearts”.

"Peter's creativity in art, comedy and music stand as his legacy to love and laughter,” they said in a statement sent to The Independent.

"The love he brought to us will continue to be shared with everyone through his music.

"We will miss him with all our hearts."

The former pop star, who was born in Bury in Lancashire, was ordained as a priest and deacon by Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, on the same day last October.

After playing organ in his local church and becoming the choirmaster, Skellern went on to study piano at Guildhall School of Music and Drama. It was his wildly popular hit single “You're a Lady", which reached number three in the UK Singles Chart in 1972, that brought him into the limelight.

Three years later, he again made it into the charts with the song "Hold On to Love" which reached number 14. Skellern was best known for his love songs and ballads which drew on old folk traditions.

He continued to make records on and off throughout the 1970s and 1980s but spent more energy honing his career as a stage writer and composing scores for musicals. 

More recently, Skellern has been writing choral music, including "Waiting for the Word", which was written for the BBC's Songs of Praise programme, Six Simple Carols and The Nativity Cantata written for a Hemel Hempstead choir called the Aeolian Singers. 

People have paid tribute to the singer on Twitter.

"A sad day today. My musical mentor and Dad's best friend Peter Skellern died this morning. The loveliest, most brilliant man," said Joe Stilgoe.

Skellern is survived by his wife Diana and his two children.

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