Colin Vearncombe, who performed under the name Black, has died at the age of 53, two weeks after being injured in a car crash.
The singer, whose 1987’s single Wonderful Life was a top 10 hit around the world, suffered head injuries in the crash in Ireland on January 10, and was placed in an induced coma.
Black died on January 26 surrounded by his family in hospital, his publicist said.
His wife Camilla said she was “deeply grateful” to staff who cared for him.
Colin Vearncombe, who was in intensive care at Cork University Hospital, “died peacefully” with his family at his side “who were singing him on his way”, a statement said.
“Colin received the best possible care from the expert and highly professional staff there and we are deeply grateful for everything they did,” his wife and three sons said in a statement.
Born in Liverpool in 1962, Colin Vearncombe had his first top 10 hit with the single Sweetest Smile in June 1987 when he was 25 years old.
The singer’s second hit song Wonderful Life, which he had previously released but only got to number 72 in the charts, made the top 10 in the UK, Switzerland, Germany, France, Austria, the Netherlands and Italy.
However, despite having found fame, Colin Vearncombe later said “the pop star life” was not as he had imagined it.
Wonderful Life has since been used in numerous advertisements and films, and has been covered by artists including Tina Cousins and Katie Melua.
The album of the same name sold more than 1.5 million copies and peaked at number three.
Although he is best known for Wonderful Life and another 1980s single Sweetest Smile, Colin Vearncombe released 15 albums under his own name.
In 2015, he returned to his original stage name for a crowd-funded album, Blind Faith, which received positive reviews.
He has also published poetry and staged exhibitions of his paintings in south-west Ireland, where he lived in later life.
Hundreds of fans wrote messages of support on Black’s Facebook page following the crash.
Black’s publicist said there would be a private funeral, as well as a memorial service for him in Liverpool “as we know there are many, many people who will want to celebrate Colin’s life and work”.
Paramount Studios have threatened to take legal action over a proposed sequel to the 1946 film It’s A Wonderful Life.
The sequel film, starring Karolyn Grimes – who starred in the original movie – was announced by Hummingbird Productions earlier this week.
However, Paramount Studios said no project could proceed without the “necessary rights”, which are owned by the film studio.
“We will take to take all appropriate steps to protect those rights.”
The original film, directed by Frank Capra, saw James Stewart playing George Bailey, a family man in the depths of despair who is assigned an angel to show him what life would have been like if he never existed.
Paramount Studios have threatened to take legal action over a proposed sequel to the 1946 film It’s A Wonderful Life
Set on Christmas Eve, the film has gone on to become a festive classic, despite being poorly received on its release.
Tennessee-based Hummingbird Productions announced on Monday that it had teamed up with Star Partners for a follow-up film based on George Bailey’s grandson.
It said Karolyn Grimes, who played George Bailey’s daughter Zuzu in the original movie, would star in the sequel as an angel.
Hummingbird’s Bob Farnsworth previously told The Hollywood Reporter that the rights to It’s a Wonderful Life were in the public domain.
“It’s a Wonderful Life is about showing a good guy can win,” Bob Farnsworth told the industry paper.
He said he had written a screenplay with Martha Bolton entitled It’s a Wonderful Life: The Rest of the Story, and was hoping it would be released in December 2015.
A lapsed copyright saw the film repeatedly broadcast on TV at Christmastime during the 1970s and ’80s.
However, Paramount is understood to have controlled the rights for the past 14 years, after the studio acquired Republic Pictures as part of its acquisition of Spelling Entertainment in 1999.
Frank Capra’s son, Tom, told the Associated Press that if his father was still alive, he would have deemed the sequel “ludicrous”.
“Why would you even attempt to make a sequel to such a classic film?”
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