"You Sexy Thing" singer Errol Brown of Hot Chocolate dies

Errol Brown performs on Sept. 17 2004, in Brisbane, Australia.

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Errol Brown, the lead singer of the band Hot Chocolate, has died in the Bahamas, his manager said Wednesday. He was 71.

Manager Phil Dale said the singer, best known for hits "You Sexy Thing" and "It Started With a Kiss," died earlier Wednesday of liver cancer. Dale said Brown's death had come as a surprise.

"(Brown) had been poorly over the past few months but he never discussed it," Dale said. "He'd be sadly missed by his friends and family. He was an extremely good personal friend."

Brown moved to Britain from Jamaica with his mother at age 12.

Hot Chocolate released its first record, "Love is Life," in 1970, and enjoyed numerous chart hits in the 1970s. In 1981, the group played at a pre-wedding party for Prince Charles and Lady Diana in Buckingham Palace.

In 2003, Brown was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire for services to music, and in 2004 he received an Ivor Novello Award for outstanding contributions to British music.

Brown is survived by his wife, Ginette, and two daughters.