Colin Vearncombe, the voice of Black, dies, aged 53

The singer of Wonderful Life had been in a critical condition since a car crash earlier this month.

(Article taken from

Colin Vearncombe, the singer of Black, has died, aged 53. A simple announcement was placed on his Facebook page on Tuesday afternoon: “Colin Vearncombe. 26/5/1962-26/1/2016. A full statement will follow shortly.”

Vearncombe had a 35-year career in music, releasing his first single with Black, Human Features, in 1981. Black signed a major label deal with WEA in 1984, but was soon dropped. In 1985, he wrote and released the single Wonderful Life as a comment on his situation, which became a worldwide hit after it was rereleased by A&M in 1987.

Though he never replicated that commercial success, he was able to continue working, releasing eight albums as Black and six under his own name, including last year’s Black album Blind Faith, which received a four-star review in the Guardian.

Though a Liverpudlian, Vearncombe had moved to Cork because “I like my elbow room, and eccentricity is tolerated here” – he lived with ex-wife, four sons and a selection of foreign students who lodged with him.

Vearncombe attributed his commercial failure after the success of Wonderful Life to rows with his label, which caused him to stop writing songs – “his one regret”,he said in an interview in 2014. He suggested to the interviewer that the piece should be headlined “Portrait of a modern has-been.”

Black’s wife Camilla and his three sons paid tribute to the care he had received in Cork University hospital. “Colin received the best possible care from the expert and highly professional staff there and we are deeply grateful for everything they did,” they said.

Black was said to have died peacefully with his family at his bedside “who were singing him on his way”.

The funeral will be private one and a memorial service is being planned in Liverpool in the near future with a charity for donations in his memory to be announced.
Black’s management said they were aware many people will want to celebrate his life and work. They added: “No need to laugh or cry. It’s a wonderful, wonderful life.”




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