Colin Gibb, a core member of the successful novelty pop band Black Lace, died at the age of 70.

Sue Kelly, Colin’s wife, shared the news on Facebook with the message, “I love you Colin…” We were supposed to retire to Spain on Thursday, and you were so excited about our new life, but now you’ve left. We used to say, “Always love you forever.”

His bandmate Dene Michael remarked on X: “So sad to report the passing of my vocal companion in Black Lace, Colin Gibb. Rest in peace, my friend; God bless you.”

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Gibb joined Black Lace in 1976, and the group released their breakthrough single, Mary Ann, in 1979. The bright, highly synchronized track was chosen as the UK’s Eurovision song contest entry that year, and the band finished seventh in the Israel-hosted contest, narrowly missing out on the UK Top 40. In 1981, the trio separated, leaving Gibb and Alan Barton to continue as a duet.

This incarnation of Black Lace was hugely successful, thanks to its cheerfully unfashionable style and the crowd-pleasing sounds of glam rock and Euro-disco. Aside from Gang Bang, an homage to group sex, their songs were popular across generations due to their singalong choruses and uncomplicated dance moves.

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In 1981, they recorded a version of Chicken Dance, sometimes known as The Birdie Song, and in 1983, they had their first chart hit, Superman. The next year, they had their biggest hit, Agadoo, a cover version of an earlier Europop smash that peaked at No. 2 in the UK, stayed on the charts for 35 weeks, and was successful throughout Europe. They returned to the UK Top 10 with their second single, Do the Conga, and later scored minor hits with cover versions of children’s songs including I Am the Music Man and Hokey Cokey, as well as the Sweets’ glam classic Wig-Wam Bam.

Alan Barton, his bandmate during the band’s golden years, died in 1995. However, thanks to their widespread popularity at weddings and school discos, Black Lace were able to continue touring long after their peak. Gibb announced his retirement only last month, saying “all good things must come to an end” and promising a last concert at a Tenerife hotel.