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'Ireland’s answer to Elvis': Tributes paid to singer Brendan Bowyer who has died aged 81

Bowyer died at his home in Las Vegas yesterday evening.

Image: Leon Farrell/RollingNews.ie

Updated May 29th 2020, 9:14 PM

IRISH SINGER AND entertainer Brendan Bowyer has died aged 81.

Bowyer died at his home in Las Vegas yesterday evening surrounded by his wife Stella, his three children and his two grandchildren.

His family confirmed his passing in a statement on Facebook this morning:

“It is with deep sadness and regret that we announce the passing of Brendan Bowyer. Ireland’s most beloved International entertainer for 62 years.

Brendan passed away peacefully in Las Vegas on the late evening of May 28, 2020. 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 and Nora Stella.

“Brendan was hoping to get back to his homeland, Ireland, one last time. He was 81 years old.”

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

It was during his time with the Royal Showband that he first performed what many consider his signature tune, The Hucklebuck. 

Other hits included Kiss Me Quick, Sitting in the Sun and I Can’t Get You Out of My Heart.

Source: PavilionTheatreDL/YouTube

Culture Minister Josepha Madigan said she was extremely saddened to hear of the Waterford native’s passing. 

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“He could justly claim to be in the very top echelon of performers of the dancehall era.  His comparison to Elvis Presley is not an overstated one,” said Madigan. 

So many romances, marriages and happy memories were created during many years of joy and entertainment that Brendan brought to this country and his adopted Las Vegas. 

“He set a high bar and inspired so many other performers that followed.  He will be so sadly missed.”

Madigan offered her condolences to Brendan’s wife of 53 years, his three children, as well as his extended family and thousands of devoted fans.

“Hearing the Hucklebuck again will give us mixed feelings, a nostalgia of happier times gone by tinged with sadness,” the Minister added. 

- With reporting from Adam Daly

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