Beatles Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney have paid tribute to the singer-songwriter Tony Sheridan who has died at the age of 72.
Sheridan used the Beatles as his support act when performing in Hamburg’s red light district in the 1960s, before they shot to worldwide fame.
A 1962 performance at the legendary Hamburg Star Club, where the Beatles provided Sheridan’s warm-up act, is regarded as a watershed performance prompting their rise to fame.
Sheridan died in Hamburg following a long illness.
The former Beatles drummer Ringo Starr tweeted:
Just say goodbye to Tony Sheridan just he died I had a great month 19 6061 playing with him was great bye R***
“Tony was a good guy who we knew and worked with from the early days in Hamburg," Sir Paul McCartney said in a statement on his website.
"We regularly watched his late night performances and admired his style. He will be missed."
Born in Norwich in England, Sheridan grew up in a home surrounded by classical music and learned the violin at an early age.
The musician later swapped his violin for a guitar and quickly became one of the most sought-after session musicians of his era.
Having moved to Hamburg in 1960, Sheridan performed with bands such as Gerry and the Pacemakers as well as the Beatles.
Tony Sheridan recorded several titles with the Fab Four for the record label Polydor, which went on to sell over a million copies.
Last year, Sheridan played at the 50th anniversary of the Star Club.