Rab Noakes: Scottish singer songwriter dies aged 75

Rab Noakes
Rab Noakes

Singer songwriter Rab Noakes has died aged 75.

The Scot, who grew up in Cupar, Fife, died suddenly in hospital, according to the singer Barbara Dickson who announced his death on social media.

A founding member of Stealers Wheel, he was also a solo artist who released more than 20 albums and performed at festivals such as Celtic Connections.

Before setting up his own production company, Noakes was a senior music producer at the BBC.

He was a regular collaborator with other musicians, including Dickson, who described him as "my dear and old friend".

In a post on Twitter she added: "I am shocked. We had so much in common - The Everly Brothers, the Flying Burrito Brothers and an enduring love of songs, particularly traditional music.

"Sleep well, Rab. May you rest in peace."

Writer Val McDermid posted: "In tears at the news of Rab Noakes' death. Known and loved this generous, talented, open-hearted man since I was 14, never known a kinder soul. Or a better guitarist.

"We messaged each other only a couple of days ago and he was his usual upbeat self. We were planning to record some tracks together in the new year."

Several other high-profile figures from Scotland's arts scene also released tributes.

Gaelic singer Julie Fowlis wrote: "An iconic and generous musician, and a gentleman. It was always a joy and an education to be in his company.

"Fois shiorraidh dha anam." (Eternal rest for his soul)

Rab Noakes
Rab Noakes, left, performs with Stealers Wheel at Pink Pop festival, Netherlands, in 1973

Scots singer Iona Fyfe posted: "Heartbroken to hear of the passing of Rab Noakes. He was always so encouraging, generous with his time and unbelievably kind, welcoming and supportive."

And singer songwriter Horse McDonald described Noakes as a "giant of a man" who will be "sorely missed".

Broadcaster Bryan Burnett said he was hired by Noakes as a producer for BBC Radio Scotland.

"He taught me so much about the country-pop music we both loved," he said.

BBC Scotland director Steve Carson said: "All of us at BBC Scotland are deeply saddened to hear the news about Rab Noakes.

"His contribution to music in Scotland cannot be overstated, alongside some remarkable programmes he made here at the BBC.

"Our thoughts are with his family and friends, and with all his fans across the nation"