Spencer Davis’ close friend told Mirror Online his death was “not entirely unexpected”.
Reports emerged on Monday that the musician – who founded the beat band The Spencer Davis Group – died from a heart-attack in California at the age of 81.
And the star’s passing is thought to be due to illness with a close friend to the chart topper telling Mirror Online that Spencer’s death was “not entirely unexpected.”
Speaking about the sad loss, the insider told Mirror Online: “Poor Spencer has been ill for some time, so it’s not entirely unexpected.”
They added: “Still devastating news though.”
Spencer’s official cause of death is yet to be shared by the coroner.
The Spencer Davis Group’s drummer Pete York today called best friend Jim Simpson – first manager of Black Sabbath and founding director of the ongoing Birmingham International Jazz Festival – that Spencer had died, reports Birmingham Live.
He leaves behind his partner June and three adult children.
Welsh born Davis was inspired to begin what would become a life-long career in music after hearing an American rhythm and blues band play a rare gig in his hometown of Swansea as a teenager.
He formed his own group, The Saints, along with friend Bill Perks – later known as Bill Whyman, the bassist for the Rolling Stones.
Davis then moved to Birmingham to study German at the University of Birmingham where he dated Christine Perfect, who went on to marry Fleetwood Mac’s John McVie.
Not giving up his passion for music, in 1963 Davis formed the self-titled The Spencer Davis Group after persuading established jazz artists Muff and Steve Windwood, to join him and friend Pete York on the project.
The foursome went on to have a string of hit singles, including the with chart-toppers Keep On Running in 1965 and Somebody Help Me in 1966.
After their success, the group disbanded in the late 1960s though various incarnations of the band continued to tour in recent years, under Davis’ direction.