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Irish showband legend and singer Brendan Bowyer dies aged 81

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Brendan Bowyer. Photo: Brian Farrell.

Brendan Bowyer. Photo: Brian Farrell.

Brian Farrell

Brendan Bowyer. Photo: Brian Farrell.

IRISH singer and showbiz legend Brendan Bowyer has died aged 81.

His family confirmed that he passed away peacefully in Las Vegas and shared the news on Facebook this morning.

Bowyer was best known for fronting the Royal Showband and The Big Eight, who had five number one hits in Ireland.

"It is with deep sadness and regret that we announce the passing of Brendan Bowyer," the statement said.

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Brendan Bowyer and The Royal Showband at the Television Club, Harcourt Street, Dublin, 8 January 1968.

Brendan Bowyer and The Royal Showband at the Television Club, Harcourt Street, Dublin, 8 January 1968.

Brendan Bowyer and The Royal Showband at the Television Club, Harcourt Street, Dublin, 8 January 1968.

"He was surrounded by the unending love of his wife of 53 years, Stella, his three children, Brendan Jr., Aisling, Clodagh, and his two grandchildren, Liam & Nora Stella.

"Brendan was hoping to get back to his homeland, Ireland, one last time."

Bowyer, who was from Co Waterford, was also regarded as one of the first Elvis Presley impersonators.

He was known for having The Beatles open for the Royal Showband at a concert in 1962 at the Pavilion Theatre in Liverpool, six months before the release of The Beatles first single "Love Me Do" in October 1962.

A number of Irish musicians took to social media to pay tribute to the late entertainer.

"Rest easy Brendan Bowyer. Ireland has lost its very own Elvis and our first true Rock ‘no Roll superstar. There’s a hucklebuck in Heaven tonight," Darren Holden of The High Kings said on Twitter.

Ireland's Ambassador to the USA, Daniel Mulhall, also sent his condolences to the family.

"I grew up in Waterford when Brendan Bowyer & the Royal Showband were Ireland’s biggest stars. The city took pride in their celebrity. Sad to see this news of Brendan Bowyer’s death in Las Vegas," he said.

Online Editors