"Wild Thing" singer Reg Presley dies in UK: report

Mon Feb 4, 2013 9:18pm EST
 
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article
[-] Text [+]

(Reuters) - Reg Presley, the lead singer of 1960s British rock band The Troggs, who scored a hit with the love anthem "Wild Thing," was reported to have died at his home in England on Monday after a battle with cancer. He was 71.

"He passed away peacefully at home and myself, my brother and our mother were with him. We're absolutely heartbroken," Presley's daughter Karen was quoted as telling the London-based World Entertainment News Network (WENN).

Presley announced in January 2012 that he had been diagnosed with lung cancer after falling ill during a performance in Germany. He began chemotherapy and announced his retirement from the band at the time.

Presley's publicist did not immediately return calls seeking confirmation of his death on Monday.

The singer's friend and music publicist Keith Altham posted on Facebook on Monday that Presley had suffered several strokes recently.

"He was one very real person in a sometimes very unreal world," Altham said. "Our thoughts are with his wife Brenda and the family and those legion of fans who loved his music and his band. I will miss him hugely."

The Troggs catapulted onto the rock'n'roll scene with "Wild Thing" in 1966, making them one of Britain's most successful garage rock acts of the era.

"Wild Thing," which was written by American songwriter Chip Taylor, topped the charts in the United States and reached No. 2 in Britain.

Presley penned hits "With a Girl Like You" in 1966 and the band's final big hit, "Love Is All Around," in 1967.

"Love Is All Around" was later covered by the Scottish band Wet Wet Wet in 1994 and lodged itself at the top of the British charts for some 15 weeks.

(Reporting by Eric Kelsey in Los Angeles; Editing by Jill Serjeant and Eric Walsh)