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Les Reed: Tom Jones pays tribute as songwriter behind hit Delilah dies aged 83 | Ents & Arts News



Tom Jones has led tributes to songwriter Les Reed OBE, who has died at the age of 83.

In a message on Twitter, the Welsh singer said: “Sorry to hear the news of the passing of my friend & colleague Les Reed.

“Les was a gifted songwriter who was instrumental in penning many a hit, incl two important songs for me; ‘It’s Not Unusual’ & ‘Delilah’ Les was a lovely man, whose legacy will live through his music. RIP Les.”

Following the announcement of his death, his family released a statement saying: “We are all so immensely proud of everything Les achieved in his incredible lifetime.

“We know that his name will be remembered for what he did for music and that he will always live through his songs and compositions for the rest of time.”

Les Reed wrote songs for Elvis Presley and Englebert Humperdinck
Les Reed wrote songs for Elvis Presley and Englebert Humperdinck

As well as Tom Jones, Les Reed also wrote songs for stars including Elvis Presley, Shirley Bassey, Bing Crosby, Englebert Humperdinck and Petula Clark.

He also found success with his own band, the Les Reed Orchestra, who recorded tracks such as Man of Action and Also Sprach Zarathrustra.

Les Reed conducted his own orchestra
Les Reed also had success with his own band, the Les Reed Orchestra

Other celebrities paying their tributes included radio presenter Tony Blackburn, who called Reed “a nice man”.

Sir Tim Rice, who wrote the score for shows including Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita and The Lion King, described Reed as “one of the all-time great British songwriters”.

Gary Kemp, part of 80s pop group Spandau Ballet, also paid his tributes, calling Reed “a master of British songwriting”.

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