ENTERTAINMENT: Singer Sydney Devine dies aged 81

Sydney Devine
Sydney Devine, who came from Ayr (top montage) received the MBE for his charity work.

By Democrat reporter

BBC Scotland is reporting that Scottish singer and entertainer Sydney Devine has died in hospital, aged 81.

The star, whole sold more than 15 million albums during a career spanning seven decades, had been suffering from an undisclosed chest complaint.

Friends said he died at University Hospital in Ayr early on Saturday.

Devine, who was born in the Lanarkshire village of Cleland in 1940, was best known for his version of the song Tiny Bubbles. He received an MBE in 2003.

His close friend and Glasgow Pavilion Theatre boss Iain Gordon said: “I have worked with Sydney and the band since 1976 and I have never seen a bad performance, he was the ultimate showman and performer.

“Syd always took time for everyone, fans, staff and other performers.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said for Scots of a certain vintage – including herself – the name Sydney Devine was synonymous with Scottish entertainment.

She tweeted: “So sad. A true legend. My condolences to his loved ones.”

Sydney Devine montage
The Glasgow Pavillion theatre posted a montage of images from his career

Devine was first spotted at the age of 13 whistling and singing at local shows. He was offered a spot on a BBC Children’s Hour programme in the early days of TV.

Scottish tenor Robert Wilson, a well-known variety performer and in the 1950s an early presenter of the White Heather Club, took the young Devine under his wing.

He would spend more than a decade performing around the world with the White Heather Group before later developing into country music in the 1970s.

Devine will forever be associated with songs such as Legend in My Time, Scotland Forever and Maggie.

At the height of his career, Devine appeared on the Queen’s Jubilee bill with Michael Jackson, supported Roy Orbison and worked with country legends Charlie Pride and Dolly Parton.

He was also a big supporter of the Marie Curie Foundation cancer charity.

sydney devine
Sydney Devine became a huge country music favourite in the 1970s

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