Model and singer Nick Kamen died at the age of 59, the BBC was confirmed by a friend of his family.
In a 1985 Levi’s ad in a laundry film, the Essex-born star was known for appearing.
The following year, his musical career culminated in a top 5 hit Each Time You Break My Heart, co-written by Madonna.
Boy George, his friend and fellow singer, led the tributes
John Taylor from Duran Duran also paid tribute, recalling Kamen as “one of the most loveful and gentlest men” he ever met.
Kamen, the real name Ivor Neville Kamen, came to the fame of a jeans market, showing him reach a laundry room and reaching his boxer shorts as many women watched.
The advert, which was soundtracked through Grapevine by Marvin Gaye’s I Heard It, helped boost the sales of denim in the company and made it a sex symbol in the process.
It also attracted the attention of the pop queen, who told the BBC when she was “charisma” and “beautiful voice” of Kamen.
Madonna then contacted Kamen and asked him to record the synth-pop track – left from her third True Blue album – and provided supporting vocals.
Kámen’s follow-up track, cover of Sweeter Than Ever’s Four Tops’ Loving You, peaked at 16th in the UK single chart, reaching number one in Italy.
He once again topped the chart in Italy with the 1988 Tell Me, which was again supported by Madonna, and was number one with the I Promised Myself in Austria and Sweden in the 1990s.
This song was played on the 2000 Fragile album by Dead or Alive and again by the Swedish DJ Basshunter in 2009.
Songer Judie Tzuke said she is “so sad” that he and his brother Barry – the 2015 model and stylist – have “gone far too soon” to hear Kamen’s death.
Former actor Ricky Simmonds from Grange Hill said that he was early in his life with Kamen and reminds him of “the aura and charisma of a superstar.”
Singer Tanita also paid tribute to Tikaram, saying she met him at the beginning, as they were signed on the same record label.
She wrote on Twitter: “He was kind and sweet [with] none of the ego of anybody who has just brought his extraordinary beauty to the world’s attention.”
“R.I.P Nick Kamen – gorgeous inside and outside,” tweeted singer Kavana, while DJ Gary Crowley recalled him, “as a lovely, gentle man.”
Kamen, born in Harlow in 1962, is understood to have died after a long illness on Tuesday night
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