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Ray Columbus dies aged 74

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 29/11/2016 Cassie Devoy

Kiwi music legend Ray Columbus has died, after battling poor health for more than a decade, aged 74.

He was the first New Zealander to have a number one single overseas, and even sported a signature dance move.

Columbus passed peacefully at his home north of Auckland on Tuesday after being in poor health since suffering a heart attack in 2004. He had two strokes after that, in 2008 and 2012. He revealed mid-2013 that he was terminally ill..

He's best known for the 1964 hit She's A Mod, by Ray Columbus & the Invaders.

Columbus has been the recipient of several major awards in his career, and has opened for the Rolling Stones, the Animals, Roy Orbison, Shirley Bassey and the Hollies.

He also had a successful management and TV career, and leaves behind two children, three grandchildren and wife, Linda.

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