Yusuf/Cat Stevens and Joan Armatrading have paid tribute to Linda Lewis, who made the “sweetest melody”, following her death at the age of 72.
The singer-songwriter, known for her five-octave vocal range and ability to perform a wide array of genres, enjoyed solo success in the 1970s as well as providing backing vocals for such artists as David Bowie and Sir Rod Stewart.
Veteran folk singer Stevens, who worked with Lewis, said on Twitter: “I’m so sorry to hear of Linda Lewis passing. She was a good soul-friend and fine artist.
“Her flat on Hampstead Way was a regular home for artist and musicians in the 70’s.
“Linda became my personal support act during the Bamboozle Tour of 1974, and travelled with our troupe all over the world, up to Japan. What a voice!
“I produced a couple of her records, and she sang the sweetest melody on my ballad, How Can I Tell You as well as the chorus on Angelsea.”
The British singer-songwriter, known for hits such as Morning Has Broken and Father And Son, added that Lewis was like “an amazing bird that kindly visited the window sill of our earthly house for a few days, then flew away back to her garden”.
Multi award-winning singer-songwriter Armatrading said: “I’m so sad to hear of the death of Linda Lewis.
“She had a beautiful voice and was a really lovely person.”
Tributes also came from Tracey Thorn from Everything But The Girl and radio DJ Gilles Peterson.
Thorn said: “Oh I am very sorry to hear the news that Linda Lewis has died.
“I met her in a backstage dressing room a few years ago and was able to tell her this is one of my favourite records of all time.”
Peterson simply wrote: “Linda Lewis … RIP.”
In a statement on social media, Lewis’s sister, Dee Lewis Clay, said: “It is with the greatest sadness and regret we share the news that our beloved beautiful sister Linda Lewis passed away today peacefully at her home.
“The family asks that you respect our privacy and allow us to grieve at this heartbreaking time.”
A self-taught guitarist and keyboard player, she appeared at the first Glastonbury Festival in 1970 and had four top 40 hits throughout the next decade – the first being Rock-a-Doodle-Doo, which reached number 15 in the UK in 1973.
Her biggest hit was It’s In His Kiss – a cover of Cher’s The Shoop Shoop Song – which reached number six in 1975.
She also toured with Stevens, one of many big names for whom she provided backing vocals, including Bowie – on the Aladdin Sane album – Stewart, Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel, Rick Wakeman, Armatrading and Jamiroquai.