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German big band legend James Last dies at 86: promoter

10 june 2015, 16:38

 German composer and big band leader James Last, whose trademark easy listening music brought him international success, has died aged 86, his Berlin-based promoters said Wednesday, AFP reports.

One of the most popular band leaders of the post-war period, Last died on Tuesday in Florida in the United States after a short illness and his family was with him at the time, Semmel Concerts said.

"The distinguished and prominent artist lived for music and wrote music history. James Last was the most successful German band leader of all time," it said in a written statement.

A public memorial is planned in the northern port city of Hamburg for his fans, the statement added.

Last, who was born Hans Last in the northern city of Bremen in 1929, was known for his "happy music", arranging pop hits in a big band style, as well as for his party albums.

His music sold in the millions and he performed about 2,500 live concerts during a career spanning five decades after clinching his first record deal in 1964, according to his website.

He gave a farewell tour, "Non-Stop Music", which ended in April in Cologne.

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