Model and singer Nick Kamen have died at the age of 59, a family friend confirmed to the BBC.
The Essex-born star was known for appearing in an advertisement for Levi in a launderette.
His music career progressed the following year with the top five song Each Time You Break My Heart, co-written by Madonna.
‘One Of The Gentlest Men’
His friend and former musician Boy George led the tribute on Wednesday, describing Kamen as “the most beautiful and handsome man”.
Duran Duran’s John Taylor also paid tribute, remembering Kamen as “one of the loveliest and gentlest men” he had ever met.
Kamen – real name Ivor Neville Kamen – became famous in the jeans advertisement, which showed him that he had arrived at the laundry and stripped down in his boxing shorts as many women watched.
The ad, soundtracked by Marvin Gaye’s I Heard It Through The Grapevine, helped to boost the company’s denim sales and made him a sex symbol in the process.
It also attracted the pop queen, who told the BBC at the time that she was taken aback by Kamen’s “charisma” and “good voice”.
Madonna then contacted Kamen and asked him to record ‘Each time you broke my heart’ – the synth-pop track left over from her third studio album True Blue – while she provided backing vocals.
Kamen’s follow-up track, a cover of the Four Tops’ Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever, peaked at number 16 in the UK singles chart but reached number one in Italy.
Topping The Charts
He also topped the Italian charts with Tell Me of 1988, Madonna also provided vocal support, and became number one in Austria and Sweden in the 1990’s I Promised Myself.
The song, written by Kamen, was composed by Dead or Alive on their 2000 album Fragile and then by Swedish DJ Basshunter in 2009.
Singer Judie Tzuke said she was “so sad” to hear of Kamen’s death, saying that both he and his brother Barry – a model and stylist who died in 2015 – had “gone far too soon”
Former Grange Hill actor Ricky Simmonds said he worked with Kamen at a young age and remembers him having “aura and charisma of a superstar”.
Singer Tanita Tikaram also paid tribute, saying she met him when he started as they were signed to the same recording company.