Baker Street singer Gerry Rafferty dies, 63

Victoria WardTelegraph Media Group Limited

Gerry Rafferty, the singer best known for the hits Stuck in the Middle With You and Baker Street, has died.

The songwriter, born in Paisley near Glasgow, had been gravely ill with a kidney condition.

Rafferty, 63, began his career busking and formed a band with Billy Connolly, the comedian.

He co-wrote Stuck In The Middle With You in 1972 while with the band Stealers Wheel.

His main claim to fame was the multi-million-selling 1978 hit Baker Street, which earned him an estimated £80,000 (€94,000) a year in royalties.

Rafferty, who played with Connolly in the folk band The Humblebums, is credited with urging Connolly to go it alone as a comedian.

The singer caused alarm after vanishing from St Thomas' Hospital in London in 2008 when he was being treated for liver failure.

His solicitors were forced to issue a statement some six months later to say that he was "extremely well", composing new songs at his home in Italy.

In recent years, he plunged into alcoholism and parted from his wife Carla, with whom he had a daughter, Martha. Rafferty's family confirmed that he died peacefully at home with Martha yesterday morning.

He once owned a Kent farm and a property in Hampstead, London, but later moved to California to be near Martha, before moving to Ireland in 2008 and later Dorset.

The social networking site Twitter was inundated with tributes.