Nick Kamen, model and singer, dies at 59 after a long illness

Kamen was best known for a Levi’s ad in which he stripped down to boxers in a launderette

Model and singer Nick Kamen. Photograph: David Redfern/Redferns

Model and singer Nick Kamen. Photograph: David Redfern/Redferns

 

Model and singer Nick Kamen, who was considered a protege of Madonna, has died at the age of 59, a friend of his family has confirmed to the PA news agency.

It is understood he died on Tuesday night after a long illness.

Kamen, who was born in Harlow, Essex, first came to public attention when he appeared on the front of The Face magazine in 1984 wearing a ski hat, lipstick and aviator sunglasses.

The next year he starred in an advertisement for Levi’s in which he stripped down to wash his blue jeans in a public launderette and waited in his boxer shorts.

He launched a career in pop music in 1986 with the number five hit Each Time You Break My Heart from his eponymous debut album.

Levi’s 1985 launderette ad
Levi’s 1985 launderette ad
Kamen came to public attention when he appeared on the front of The Face magazine in 1984
Kamen came to public attention when he appeared on the front of The Face magazine in 1984

After contacting him, Madonna signed on to produce and sing backing vocals on the track.

Kamen’s second single, Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever, a cover of the Four Tops’ 1966 hit, was less successful but reached number 16.

Boy George was among those paying tribute. He wrote on Instagram: “R.I.P to the most beautiful and sweetest man Nick Kamen!”

Actress Susie Cave shared a photo of Kamen on her Instagram Stories and wrote: “RIP Nick Kamen my sweet friend.”

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