James Last, one of the most popular band leaders of the post-war period, has died in Florida.

James Last, one of the most popular band leaders of the post-war period, has died in Florida

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Big band leader James Last has died aged 86 at his home in Palm Beach, Florida.

The final one of his remarkable 90 performances at London’s Royal Albert Hall came in April 2015 as part of a farewell tour he announced after becoming seriously ill last year.

The German-born musician sold millions of records and was a regular fixture on UK television for many years with his James Last Orchestra. He pioneered what became known as “Happy Sound”.

In a statement, his manager said: “Mr Last passed away yesterday [June 9 2015] in Florida, peacefully and in the presence of his family.”

Born Hans Last on April 17 1929, the man always known to friends as Hansi became highly adept at adapting pop hits to big band arrangements and in his lifetime he sold more than 80 million albums worldwide. He performed about 2,500 live concerts during a career spanning five decades, after clinching his first record deal in 1964.

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Read the full article here at The Telegraph

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