Liverpool legend Gerry Marsden, who was the lead singer of the '60s British band Gerry and the Pacemakers, died Sunday, the AP reported. He was 78.
His family told the outlet Marsden's death was not connected to COVID-19, and his friend Pete Price said the rocker died after a short illness related to a heart infection.
Paul McCartney and others have honored the musician's legacy.
"Gerry was a mate from our early days in Liverpool. He and his group were our biggest rivals on the local scene," McCartney tweeted Sunday. "His unforgettable performances of You'll Never Walk Alone and Ferry Cross the Mersey remain in many people's hearts as reminders of a joyful time in British music…"
He also wrote, "My sympathies go to his wife Pauline and family. See ya, Gerry. I'll always remember you with a smile."
Gerry and the Pacemakers were known for "You'll Never Walk Alone," which was a rendition of the song from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel. The group's version became the anthem of Liverpool Football Club, which shared a tribute to the late singer on Sunday.
"It is with such great sadness that we hear of Gerry Marsden's passing. Gerry’s words will live on forever with us. You’ll Never Walk Alone ❤️" the official account for Liverpool FC tweeted.
"Gerry's voice accompanied our biggest nights. His anthem bonded players, staff and fans around the world, helping create something truly special," it said in another tweet.
In their early days, Gerry and the Pacemakers played with The Beatles and had the same manager, Brian Epstein. While they didn't have the same success as their fellow Liverpudlians, they still scored a fair amount of hits. They were the first act to reach No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart with their first three singles: "How Do You Do It?," "I Like It," and "You'll Never Walk Alone," all from 1963. The band also had the hits "Ferry Cross the Mersey" and "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying."
Marsden is survived by his wife Pauline and their two daughters.
Elvis Costello and others have also reacted to Marsden's passing:
- Broadway in memoriam tribute commemorates the stars the stage lost in 2020
- Tony Rice, influential bluegrass guitarist, dies at 69
This story originally appeared on ew.com
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