Shel Macrae, lead singer and rhythm guitarist for The Fortunes, dies at 77

Shel Macrae performing Credit: Jim Semple

Shel Macrae, the former lead singer and rhythm guitarist for The Fortunes, has died at the age of 77.

Born Andy Semple, he joined The Fortunes in 1966, and performed with them through to 1977. The Birmingham band scored top ten hits with "You've Got Your Troubles," released in 1965, in both the UK and the US.

The groups later had hits including "Here It Comes Again" and "Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again."

They were also known for recording a famous Coca-Cola advert in the US, the first to use the slogan "It's the real thing."

Further success continued in the 1970s with successful releases including "Storm in a Teacup" and "Freedom Come, Freedom Go”. 

After leaving The Fortunes in 1977, Shel continued as a solo performer throughout the decades, up until his retirement in 2012.

In a statement his son, Jim. said his father had died following a period of short illness, leaving behind his wife of 55 years, Ina. He had been living in Halesowen in Dudley, but was originally from Burnbank in Scotland.