Davy Jones and his bandmates were huge celebrities in the 1960s
7:43pm UK, Wednesday February 29, 2012
Davy Jones, the British-born lead singer of 1960s pop group The Monkees, has died at the age of 66 in America.
Medical officials in Florida did not comment on the cause of death, but a spokesman for the star said he had suffered a heart attack.
The former teen idol had several hits with The Monkees, including Last Train to Clarksville, Daydream Believer and I’m A Believer.
Jones announced a Monkees reunion tour in 2011
Jones and his cohorts – Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork – sold millions of records after being put together to star in their self-titled TV show between 1966 and 1968.
The frontman got back together with Dolenz and Tork last year to play a series of gigs.
Although The Monkees had nine top-40 hits in their heyday, they were criticised for being a manufactured group. Californian band The Byrds mocked them in their single So You Want To Be A Rock ‘n’ Roll Star.
But they made efforts to prove themselves by writing more of their own songs and starring in a 1960s cult film, Head, with Jack Nicholson.
In the early 1960s, Jones had appeared as Ena Sharples’ grandson in Coronation Street and also starred in British series Z-Cars.
He briefly left showbusiness to train as a jockey – and would continue to race horses later in life – but returned to acting with a role in a stage production of Oliver!
From the West End he followed the show to Broadway where he built up an acting career and went on to audition for The Monkees.