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  1. ITV Report

James Last: Big band leader dies aged 86

Big band leader James Last has died aged 86.

The German-born musician died yesterday at his home in Florida surrounded by his family after a "short, severe illness", his manager said.

Last sold more than 80 million records and regularly appeared on British television for many years.

In a statement his manager said: "Mr Last passed away yesterday in Florida, peacefully and in the presence of his family.

"In him, the world loses a unique ambassador whose expressive and all-encompassing language was music.

"We bid farewell to the man, friend and visionary, who by his impressive strength and openness, his professionalism, modesty and love of life served as a role model and as an inspiration for many generations worldwide."

Last salutes the audience during a concert in Berlin. Credit: Reuters
The musician passed away yesterday. Credit: Reuters
James Last and wife Christine in 2007. Credit: Reuters