Colin Gibb, singer with Black Lace, dies aged 70

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Colin Gibb, who had huge success as a core member of novelty pop band Black Lace, has died aged 70.

His wife Sue Kelly announced the news on Facebook, writing: “I love you Colin … we were due to retire to Spain on Thursday, you were so happy, so looking forward to our new life, now you’re gone. As we used to say, always love you forever.”

His bandmate Dene Michael said on X: “So sad to announce the passing of my singing partner in Black Lace Colin Gibb. Rest in peace my friend God bless you.”

Gibb joined Black Lace in 1976, and the group recorded their debut single Mary Ann in 1979. The bright, closely harmonised track was selected as the UK’s Eurovision song contest entry that year, with the band finishing seventh in the Israel-hosted contest, but just missed out on the UK Top 40. In 1981, the quartet split, leaving Gibb and Alan Barton to carry on as a duo.

Cheerfully unfashionable and informed by the crowdpleasing sounds of glam rock and Euro-disco, this incarnation of Black Lace found vast success. Aside from an ode to group sex called Gang Bang, their songs appealed across generations thanks to their singalong choruses and simple dance moves.

They recorded a version of Chicken Dance, AKA The Birdie Song, in 1981, followed by their first chart hit in 1983, Superman. The next year brought their biggest hit, Agadoo – a cover version of an earlier Europop hit – which reached No 2 in the UK and spent 35 weeks on the charts, and found success across Europe. They returned to the UK Top 10 with their next single Do the Conga, and later had minor hits with cover versions of children’s songs such as I Am the Music Man and Hokey Cokey, as well as the Sweet’s glam classic Wig-Wam Bam.

His bandmate from the band’s peak years, Alan Barton, died in 1995. But buoyed by ubiquity from a generation of wedding parties and school discos, Black Lace were able to continue touring long after their heyday. Gibb announced his retirement only last month, saying “all good things must come to an end”, adding that he would play a final concert at a Tenerife hotel.


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