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05/05/2021 13:19 BST | Updated 06/05/2021 14:58 BST

Nick Kamen, Model, Singer And Star Of Iconic Levi’s Ad, Has Died Aged 59

The Essex-born model was best known for stripping to his underwear in the iconic 1985 TV commercial.

Nick Kamen, the model who shot to fame after starring in an iconic TV ad for Levi’s jeans, has died at the age of 59.

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

The Essex-born model and singer - real name Ivor Neville Kamen - was best known for starring in the 1985 ad, which saw him strip to his underwear in a laundrette.

As a result of the ad, Nick rose to international fame and later launched a singing career, which saw him reach the Top 10 with the Madonna-penned hit, Each Time You Break My Heart, which was left over from her third studio album True Blue.

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Nick Kamen pictured in 1986.

Following the news of his death, Nick’s friend Boy George paid tribute, sharing a throwback picture of them together, which he captioned: “R.I.P to the most beautiful and sweetest man Nick Kamen.”

The model was aged just 18 when he shot the career-changing Levi’s ad.

In the clip, he is seen stripping off and washing his clothes in front of a host of onlookers in a laundrette to the sound of Marvin Gaye’s 1968 hit, Heard It Through The Grapevine.

The ad is regarded as one of the most influential of all time and resulted in an 800 per cent increase in sales of Levi 501s at the time.

 

The advert caught the eye of many – including Madonna – who provided backing vocals on his biggest hit.

In a BBC radio interview in 1986 Madonna said she was inspired by Nick’s “charisma” and “beautiful voice”.

His music career spanned four albums between 1987 and 1992. He also enjoyed huge success with the song I Promised Myself in 1989.

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