Tom Watkins, who managed a number of hugely successful UK acts including Pet Shop Boys and East 17, has died at the age of 70.
The Guardian has reported that Watkins died on February 24 and that his funeral took place on Tuesday, March 10.
Watkins's cause of death has not been revealed but he had struggled with a number of health issues over the years, including strokes and diabetes. He also had a liver transplant.
His career took off when he began managing Pet Shop Boys in 1984, and helped the duo achieve four number one UK singles with Always On My Mind, which kept The Pogues' Fairytale of New York off the Christmas top spot in 1987; Heart, West End Girls and It's A Sin.
He was also instrumental in the success of sibling duo Bros, co-writing their biggest singles When Will I Be Famous?, I Owe You Nothing and Drop The Boy.
In the 90s, Watkins managed London boy band East 17, who had a Christmas number one in Ireland and the UK with Stay Another Day in 1994.
Watkins also had a successful side career as a graphic designer with his XL Design company and produced record sleeves for acts such as Wham!, Frankie Goes To Hollywood and Duran Duran.
He is survived by his partner Marc.
Tributes have been paid to Watkins on Twitter:
Gutted to hear that the hugely charismatic music producer Tom Watkins has passed.— David Lancaster 🏳️🌈 (@Doodvid) March 10, 2020
His legendary pop shenanigans shaped my musical journey when I was an impressionable young gay boy & I'll forever be grateful for the unadulterated camp aesthetic he flung into the mainstream.
RIP the one and only #TomWatkins - your picture still hangs in our dining room - & we talked about you on Saturday night. Thank you for all the opportunities you gave me. Don't think anyone else would have / could have done what you did... pic.twitter.com/lyGQQkeIqu— Nick Foster (@nickfostermusic) March 10, 2020
RIP Tom Watkins. Pop management genius. In the right mood he was a both a great conversationalist and completely terrifying in equal measure. (He once interviewed me at 21, for a gig looking after Deuce. Didn't get it.)— Niven Govinden (@niven_govinden) March 10, 2020
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