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Wayne Fontana, 'Game of Love' singer, passed away aged 74

music news 10/08/2020

The British Invasion-era singer, Wayne Fontana has passed away on 6th Aug at the age of 74.

Lead singer of Herman's Hermits and a longtime friend, Peter Noone, confirmed the news that Fontana has died from cancer in Stepping Hill Hospital in the UK.

Fontana, whose real name was Glyn Geoffrey Ellis, was very well known for his 1965 single called 'Game of Love' which reached No.1 on the Billboard charts. He led the Manchester-based band called Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders.

Noone wrote on his Facebook page saying, "Wayne Wayne don't go away. After 59 years of friendship, laughter, tears, jail cells and lost brain bells, we have handed over our lovely lead singer Wayne Fontana to the big band in ROCK AND ROLL HEAVEN."

Ellis' stage name was inspired by Elvis Presley's drummer, D.J. Fontana. The singer had also previously been in a band called Wayne Fontana and the Jets before forming the Mindbenders (where the name originated from a 1964 film of the same name). Coincidently, the band was signed to Fontana Records. They first charted in the UK with a number of R&B covers like Major Lance's hit 'Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um', peaking at No.5 on the chart.

Wayne Fontana left the band in late 1965 as they were not able to score another hit song. The other bandmates decided to remain together as a trio while Fontana continued to perform until very late in his life, mostly as part of the Solid Silver 60s Shows.