Music legend dead as tributes as paid to iconic singer who was a household name in the UK

Australian music icon Frank Ilfeld has died aged 86
Australian music legend Frank Ilfeld has passed away at the age of 86 -Credit:Getty Images

Music legend Frank Ifield, who helped give The Beatles their start in the industry, has died of the age of 86.

The Australian singer passed away peacefully in his sleep on Saturday night. The sad news was shared on Facebook by his friend, music historian and journalist Glenn A. Baker.

He posted: "I just took a call from David Ifield, telling me that his brother FRANK IFIELD peacefully passed on this Saturday night, at age 86. There is so much to be said about this remarkable man, who had four number ones in Britain, three of them before the Beatles (who he had briefly support him in concert). I Remember You became an indelible hit all around the world and a perfect signature song. It topped the U.K. charts for 7 weeks.

"This is not the time to say any more than my thoughts are with Frank's brothers and his wife Carole and to say how fortunate I was to see him earlier this year. I'm still gathering my thoughts."

Frank Ilfeld passed away peacefully in his sleep on Saturday night
Frank Ilfeld died peacefully in his sleep on Saturday night -Credit:ITV/REX/Shutterstock

He then went on to share images of Frank with Alan Lancaster of Status Quo, Eric Burdon, John Rowles, Frankie Davidson, Mary Schneider, Nicki Gillis, Keith Potger, Wayne Horsburgh and Glenn himself.

As a boy in Sydney, Frank developed a love for country music and yodelling and when he received a guitar from his grandmother at just 13, he taught himself to play and began writing songs.

By the time he was 19 he had released 44 records and was the top recording artist in Australia, New Zealand, and Tasmania. He then moved to London in 1959, where he proceeded to become an international household name after he had four number-one hits on the UK singles chart: I Remember You, Lovesick Blues, The Wayward Wind, and Confessin’ That I Love You.

It was during this time that he had The Beatles open for him, meaning the foursome from Liverpool were exposed to Frank's huge fanbase, and thus helping to ignite their careers.

He had four UK No1 singles and helped launch The Beatles' careers
He had four UK No1 singles and was instrumental in launching The Beatles to stardom -Credit:Redferns

Frank, who leaves behind his wife Carole Wood, and his two children from his previous marriage to Gillian Bowden, also performed in front of Queen Elizabeth II at the Royal Variety Show in 1965.

As well as this, he starred in his own film Up Jumped A Swagman, and was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for his contributions to the arts in 2009.