Denny Laine: Paul McCartney pays tribute after Moody Blues singer and Wings guitarist dies aged 79
Denny Laine, the lead singer of English rock band the Moody Blues and guitarist with Wings, has died aged 79.
The co-founder of both Wings, which also featured Sir Paul McCartney, and The Moody Blues “passed away peacefully” following a battle with lung disease.
In an Instagram statement, Elizabeth Hines wrote that it was an “absolute honour and privilege to not only be his wife, but to care for him during his illness and vulnerability”.
She wrote: “My darling husband passed away peacefully early this morning.
“I was at his bedside, holding his hand as I played his favourite Christmas songs for him. He’s been singing Christmas songs the past few weeks and I continued to play Christmas songs while he’s been in ICU on a ventilator this past week.
“He and I both believed he would overcome his health setbacks and return to the rehabilitation centre and eventually home.
“Unfortunately, his lung disease, Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD), is unpredictable and aggressive; each infection weakened and damaged his lungs. He fought every day. He was so strong and brave, never complained.
“All he wanted was to be home with me and his pet kitty, Charley, playing his gypsy guitar.”
Sir Paul posted on Instagram to pay tribute to Laine, saying he was “very saddened” by his ex-bandmates passing.
He said: “I have many fond memories of my time with Denny: from the early days when The Beatles toured with the Moody Blues.
“Our two bands had a lot of respect for each other and a lot of fun together. Denny joined Wings at the outset. He was an outstanding vocalist and guitar player.
“His most famous performance is probably ‘Go Now’, an old Bessie Banks song which he would sing brilliantly. He and I wrote some songs together, the most successful being ‘Mull of Kintyre’ which was a big hit in the Seventies.
“We had drifted apart, but in recent years managed to re-establish our friendship and share memories of our times together.
“Denny was a great talent with a fine sense of humour and was always ready to help other people. He will be missed by all his fans and remembered with great fondness by his friends. I send my condolences and best wishes to his wife, Elizabeth and family.
“Peace and love Denny. It was a pleasure to know you. We are all going to miss you.”
Ms Hines also wrote that the support from the public “brought him to tears”, and said her “world will never be the same”.
She added: “Denny was an amazingly wonderful person, so loving and sweet to me.
He made my days colourful, fun and full of life-just like him. Thank you sweetie for loving me, for all the laughter, friendship, fun and for asking me to be your wife. I will love you forever.
“Please give Denny’s friends and family the time and privacy needed as we grieve our loss.”
Born Brian Hines in Tyseley, Birmingham, in October 1944, Laine had been a member of Birmingham-formed The Moody Blues during the 1960s.
He quit the band shorty after releasing The Magnificent Moodies in 1965 over a conflict with their record label.
He then joined Sir Paul and Linda McCartney in the Wings line-up in 1971 before departing the band in the 1980s.
Laine was also part of the World Classic Rockers, a touring act which had Donovan, Spencer Davis and founding member of The Eagles Randy Meisner play at various times.
BBC defends ‘misjudged’ Saltburn BAFTA red carpet question to Andrew Scott
The BBC has apologised for a “misjudged” question to Andrew Scott in an awkward red carpet interview at the BAFTA film awards last week.
After chatting to Scott, 47, about his film All Of Us Strangers, BBC entertainment correspondent Colin Paterson moved onto the popularity of other Irish performers, including Saltburn star Keoghan.
Paterson asked: “Do you know Barry well?”
To which Scott replied: “I know Barry, yeah.”
Paterson then asked Scott: “Can I ask your reaction when you first saw the naked dance scene at the end of Saltburn?”
Deflecting the question Scott replied: “Oh gees, I won’t spoil it for anybody.”
Not letting it drop, Paterson persisted: “There is a lot of talk about the prosthetics… how well do you know him?” at which point Scott pulled a face and awkwardly walked away.
Paterson then asked: “Too much? Too much?”
The interview led to complaints, some of which expressed concern that the line of questioning was homophobic, due to Scott being a high-profile gay actor.
In response, the corporation issued a statement, which read: “Saltburn is a film which has had cultural impact, with Barry Keoghan’s scene at the end gaining a lot of attention in particular – something the actor has addressed himself.
“Our question to Andrew Scott was meant to be a light-hearted reflection of the discussion around the scene and was not intended to cause offence”.
The BBC said Saltburn director Emerald Fennell and singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor – whose song Murder on the Dancefloor features in the scene and who performed at the BAFTA ceremony – also faced the same line of questioning.
The statement added: “We do, however, accept that the specific question asked to Andrew Scott was misjudged.
“After speaking with Andrew on the carpet, our reporter acknowledged on air that his questioning may have gone too far and that he was sorry if this was the case.”
All Of Us Strangers received six BAFTA nominations, including outstanding British film, best supporting actor for Paul Mescal, best supporting actress for Claire Foy and best director for Andrew Haigh.
Despite a widely praised lead performance, Scott did not receive a nomination for best actor in a leading role. He did however, present the animated film award on the night alongside co-star Mescal.
Saltburn had five BAFTA nods including outstanding British film, best supporting actor for Jacob Elordi, best supporting actress for Rosamund Pike, and best actor in a leading role for Keoghan.
Both films left empty handed.
Scottish reporter Paterson, 50, first began reporting on The Big Breakfast, before writing for the Guardian and later presenting on Liquid News on BBC Three.
He has covered the BAFTAs, Oscars and Glastonbury Festival multiple times.
Ellie Goulding confirms split from husband Caspar Jopling
Ellie Goulding has announced that she has split from her husband Caspar Jopling.
They welcomed a son, Arthur, in 2021.
Posting a statement in an Instagram story, Goulding said she had been left with “no choice” but to publicly announce that they have been separated for “some time”.
The Hertfordshire-born singer wrote: “In light of recent stories, I feel I have been left with no choice but to let you all know that Caspar and I privately separated some time ago.
“We remain the closest of friends and have been successfully co-parenting with our son’s best interests at heart.
“We are committed to protecting our family privacy and thank people in advance for respecting our wishes – we won’t be commenting further.”
She also shared a story which Jopling had posted on his Instagram account, also confirming their separation.
It read: “Hi people – hope you’re having a good day.
“I feel (sadly) that I need to say something on mine and Ellie’s current relationship… that I hope more than anything will make any final tabloid speculation disappear.
“Ellie and I made the decision to separate some time ago.
“Our immediate family and close friends have known for some time – otherwise we chose to do what we could to keep this private.
“Ellie and I remain the closest of friends, most importantly ‘co-parents’ to the best kiddo in the world, Arthur.
“This is the last I want to say on this – and please ask that you respect mine and Ellie’s privacy. Thanks a lot. Caspar.”
Their glamorous wedding ceremony at York Minster in 2019, featured an impressive guest list ranging from pop stars to royalty.
Celebrities including Katy Perry, Orlando Bloom, James Blunt, Sienna Miller, Jimmy Carr and artist Tracey Emin were in attendance.
Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice were also guests along with their mother Sarah, Duchess of York and Eugenie’s husband Jack Brooksbank, who was one of the groomsmen.
The ceremony was followed by a lavish reception at Castle Howard, a stately home near Malton, North Yorkshire.
The couple first became an item in early 2017, getting engaged the following year.
Goulding had previously been in relationships with McFly star Dougie Poynter, radio presenter Greg James, DJ Skrillex and actor Jeremy Irvine, and is also rumoured to have dated singer Ed Sheeran.
She has had four chart-topping albums in the UK, including her most recent collection, Higher Than Heaven, released in 2023.
Goulding toured the UK and Europe late last year with songs from the new album.
Rod Stewart labels Vladimir Putin an ‘a******e’ and urges support for Ukraine ‘right to the end’
Sir Rod Stewart has lashed out at Vladimir Putin on the eve of the second anniversary of Russia’s war on Ukraine.
The music veteran branded the Russian president an “arsehole” in an interview with Sky News on Friday night.
And he said revealed his fears about the consequences of the US “pulling money away from Ukraine” as the conflict enters its third year.
“And we’ll have to join the army,” he added.
“We have to support Ukraine right to the end,” he continued, adding: “Peace in the Middle East as well.”
Sir Rod appeared on Sky News alongside friend and fellow musician, Jools Holland to discuss their new album, Swing Fever.
“We need joy, we live in very dark times,” he told Sky News.
Sir Rod described how the album “brought them together”, while pianist and composer Holland revealed how, when Sir Rod first called him to discuss the project, he believed it was a crank call.
Sir Rod is no stranger to speaking his mind.
In January last year, he called into Sky News to donate for medical scans after hearing NHS crisis stories.
He said it was ridiculous people had to wait long periods for essential treatment and called for a change in government.
Sir Rod said: “I personally have been a Tory for a long time but I think this government should stand down now and give the Labour Party a go, this is heartbreaking.
“In all my years in this country I’ve never seen it so bad… change the bloody government.”
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