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Who was Nick Kamen? Madonna's protege, 59, who died in west London, was romantically linked to queen of pop

'R.I.P to the most beautiful and sweetest man Nick Kamen!' singer-songwriter Boy George shared in an Instagram tribute
Nick Kamen in a picture taken on February 11, 1987, in Munich (Getty Images)
Nick Kamen in a picture taken on February 11, 1987, in Munich (Getty Images)

The model and singer Nick Kamen, whose real name was Ivor Neville Kamen, has died. The news of his death came out on Wednesday, May 5, after several of his friends and acquaintances began sharing tributes on social media. Kamen -- Madonna's protégé -- was 59 and reportedly died in west London.

However, the cause of his death is not known yet. Born in April 1962, Harlow, United Kingdom, he became famous when he was just 18 after doing the 1985 Levis 501 commercial, in which he arrived at a laundrette and stripped down as several women watched. A year later, in 1986, he went on to become more popular after his Madonna-written hit 'Each Time You Break My Heart'.


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Singer-songwriter Boy George took to his Instagram page to share an old photo of him with Kamen, along with a heartbreaking caption that read, “R.I.P to the most beautiful and sweetest man Nick Kamen!” Director Mark Lebon also shared a throwback picture of the deceased man and wrote, “RIP MY DEAR FRIEND.”


As the sad news broke, Twitter was also flooded with tributes for Kamen, who was said to have been romantically involved with the queen of pop in the 80s while she was dating Sean Penn. A user tweeted, “Such sad news about Nick Kamen. Each Time You Break My Heart was a great mid 80s pop tune. #RIPNickKamen.” Another user said, “Oh no. RIP Nick Kamen. Every 1980 girls ideal man. So sad only 59.”




A person wrote, “RIP Nick Kamen so sad to hear the news he’ll be with Barry now 2 beautiful brothers gone far too soon.  such sunny happy memories of time spent in the Pink house back in the day.” The second one shared, “So sad to hear of the untimely passing of the breathtakingly handsome #NickKamen. 1986, that advert, that face, those boxer shorts. Iconic. The lights go down at the laundrette. Ixx.”



“A pivotal TV ad of my childhood. I was interested in the advert but couldn't quite put my finger on why. Levi's 501 commercial with #NickKamen (Laundrette) (1985),” one comment by his fan read. “Very sad to read about #NickKamen's death. I spent a lot of time with him years ago on a #Buddhist course in Trets, Provence. He was such a sweet young man,” another comment states.



Remarking on how he was an icon in the '80s, a fan commented, “At 14 we were beyond obsessed with Nick Kamen and that Levi’s ad. All wrapped up in my head with Channel 4, The Face, Sky magazine, Just 17 etc. Another slice of the 1980s gone.”

“Gosh, sad news about the passing of Nick Kamen. The model who found fame in BBH's classic 1980's Levi's 501 launderette commercial - he not only drove sales of 501's but kicked started sales of boxer shorts too. RIP,” another one said while the third added: “Nick Kamen was obviously gorgeous on the outside, but also inside by all the accounts I’ve seen today. And Each Time You Break My Heart is a banger no matter what anyone says. Gutted.”