Errol Brown, Black plaque outside the RAK Studios in St John's Wood, November 2020.
Date of Installation: October 2006
Location: 34 Ridgmount Gardens, Camden, London WC1E
Brown was born in Kingston, Jamaica, but moved to the UK when he was twelve years old. His break in music came in 1969 when he recorded a version of John Lennon's "Give Peace a Chance" with a band called "Hot Chocolate Band". Unable to change the lyrics without Lennon's permission, he sent a copy to his record label, Apple, and the song was released with Lennon's approval.
The Hot Chocolate albums were produced by Mickie Most and recorded at the Rak Records studio. Brown left the group in 1985 to take a hiatus from music. He soon went on to have a solo career, achieving success in the clubs with the 1987 single "Body Rocking", produced by Richard James Burgess.
He was the subject of This Is Your Life in 1997 when he was surprised by Michael Aspel on his birthday.
Brown was a supporter of the Conservative Party and performed at a party conference in the 1980s. In 1981, he performed at the wedding reception following the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer, at Buckingham Palace.
Brown owned National Hunt horses, including Gainsay.
In 2003, Queen Elizabeth II named Brown a Member of the Order of the British Empire for "services to popular music for the United Kingdom".In 2004 he received an Ivor Novello Award for outstanding contributions to British music.
Brown died from liver cancer at his home in the Bahamas on 6 May 2015. He was survived by his wife Ginette and his two daughters, Colette and Leonie.