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Kevin Sharp dead: Celebrated country singer dies aged 43

The American musician dies from cancer complications

Country singer Kevin Sharp died on Saturday from past stomach surgeries and digestive issues, his website confirmed. He was 43.

Sharp, best known for his hit song Nobody Knows, battled with cancer as a teenager in the Nineties. Born in California, December 1970, he spent his younger years appearing in musicals, but after suffering from fatigue and excessive dizziness, he was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma - a form of blood cancer. Despite being given a slim chance of recovery, he survived – although permanently lost his hair due to the chemotherapy treatment.

While still recovering, he met legendary producer David Foster through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Sharp went onto create a demo tape and Foster helped sign him to Asylum Records in Nashville. In 1996, he released his first album, Measure Of A Man, selling over 500,000 copies, while his first single, Nobody Knows, spent four weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot Country Singles and Tracks chart.

In the past few years, he travelled around America as a motivational speaker and became one of Make-A-Wish Foundation’s leading spokespersons. A statement on his website says that anyone wishing to make a donation in his memory, should make it to their closest Make-A-Wish Chapter “so that wishes can continue to be granted for other children”.

“He had a strong heart, that's what kept him alive, (but) I'm so happy for him, that there's no more suffering,“ said his sister, Mary Huston. ”His dream came true through music. He touched thousands of lives, and he helped heal the souls of people dealing with cancer.”

A memorial service is currently being planned in Nashville.