Welsh star Ricky Valance dies aged 84 after long battle with dementia 

Ricky Valance dies aged 84: Welsh star who sang ‘Tell Laura I love her’ passes away in hospital after long battle with dementia

Welsh singer Ricky Valance has died aged 84 following a battle against dementia. 

Valance, born David Spencer, became the first Welshman to have a solo UK Number One hit with the song Tell Laura I Love Her in 1960.

The singer was born in Ynysddu, Monmouthshire, Wales in April 1939, and joined the RAF aged 17 before going pursuing a career in the music industry.

His agent told the BBC that he had been diagnosed with dementia and had been in hospital since before the start of lockdown.    

Valance was lead soprano in his local church choir as a child, before joining the Air Force and seeing active service in north Africa.

Three years later, he returned to the UK and started performing in clubs in the north of England – before being signed and recording Tell Laura I Love Her. 

Tell Laura I Love Her was a controversial song upon its release, with the lyrics detailing the story of a boy called Tommy who loved a girl called Laura.

Valance released albums during the 60s, 70s, and 80s, while his most famous single Tell Laura I Love Her was a major UK number one hit in 1960.  

A re-release of his song was released in 2016 to mark its 55th anniversary. 

Valance is survived by his wife Evelyn, and the two lived in Skegness in Lincolnshire. He had previously lived in Spain where he performed on the Costa Blanca. 

More to follow.

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