David Gest, who was a regular performer on stage in St Helens, died today, aged 62.
The former Celebrity Big Brother contestant was found dead in a London hotel.
He best known as the ex-husband of Liza Minnelli but made his name as a music producer.
He was also known for being a close friend of the late Michael Jackson.
The TV personality gained a following in the United Kingdom recently when he appeared on Celebrity Big Brother.
Friend Imad Handi said: “It is with great sadness that I can confirm that David Gest has died today.
“David was truly larger than life. He was not just a huge talent and a dear friend but a showbiz icon.
“I know he will be missed by millions of fans around the world, and particularly in Britain, who came to love his charm and blistering one-liners.
“If I may steal the words of one eminent critic, David was a natural star and a genuine celebrity. I will miss him desperately.”
A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “Police were called at 10.17 on Tuesday 12 April to the Four Seasons hotel, in Westferry Circus, E14, to reports of an unexplained death of a man in his 60s. London Ambulance Service were called to the scene. Life was pronounced extinct at the hotel.
“A post-mortem will be held in due course. Next of kin are in the process of being informed.”