Fortunes lead singer Rod Allen dies

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Rod Allen, lead singer of British band The Fortunes, has died following a short illness, the group said on its Web site. He was 63.

“It is with the deepest regret and sadness that we have to announce that earlier today, after a very short illness, Rod quietly and peacefully passed away with his family around him at his home in Coventry,” the band said.

It did not specify the date of Allen’s death. Media reports said he had been suffering from liver cancer. Allen was married with two children and three grandchildren.

“Rod’s terrible illness was diagnosed just two short months ago and we all held our breath and hoped and prayed that his treatment would succeed ... but it wasn’t to be,” the band said on

“Rod’s wish was for The Fortunes to continue, so we will do our utmost to keep his legacy alive and make The Fortunes a group that Rod would be proud of.”

The Fortunes were formed in Birmingham, England, in the 1960s, and scored early hits with “You’ve Got Your Troubles” and “Here It Comes Again”.

Their success continued into the 1970s with “Storm in a Teacup” and “Freedom Come, Freedom Go.”

One of their first singles, “Caroline”, was used as the signature tune for the pirate radio station of the same name, and The Fortunes were also the voices for the U.S. Coca Cola adverts with “It’s The Real Thing”.

Reporting by Mike Collett-White, editing by Paul Casciato