Tributes pour in as Stealers Wheel founder Rab Noakes dies suddenly aged 75

Tributes from friends and colleagues have been pouring in after singer-songwriter and Stealers Wheel founder Rab Noakes dies suddenly aged 75

Scottish singer-songwriter Rab Noakes (born Robert Noakes) has died suddenly aged 75. His death was announced by friend and colleague Barbara Dickson on Friday (November 11) on social media.

Dickson wrote on Twitter: “My dear and old friend Rab Noakes has died suddenly in hospital today. I am shocked. We had so much in common - The Everly Brothers, the Flying Burrito Brothers and an enduring love of songs, particularly traditional music.  Sleep well, Rab. May you rest in peace.”

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Noakes was one of the founding members of the folk-rock band Stealers Wheel, but left the band before they signed their first record deal. He went on to record 20 studio albums, with his last album ‘Welcome to Anniversaryville’ released in 2018.

He spent eight years at the BBC producing music and entertainment for radio in Manchester before eventually moving to BBC Scotland. In 1995, Noakes formed his own production company with his wife Stephy.

Tributes to the late singer have been pouring in, with Scottish singer Iona Fyfe writing: "Heartbroken to hear of the passing of Rab Noakes. He was always so encouraging, generous with his time and unbelievably kind, welcoming and supportive."

Writer Val McDermid wrote: "In tears at the news of Rab Noakes’ death. Known and loved this generous, talented, open-hearted man since I was 14, never known a kinder soul. Or a better guitarist.

“We messaged each other only a couple of days ago and he was his usual upbeat self. We were planning to record some tracks together in the new year."

Steve Carson, director of BBC Scotland paid tribute writing: "All of us at BBC Scotland are deeply saddened to hear the news about Rab Noakes. His contribution to music in Scotland cannot be overstated, alongside some remarkable programmes he made here at the BBC.  Our thoughts are with his family and friends, and with all his fans across the nation"

Singer-songwriter Rab Naokes has passed away. Picture: Kris Kesiak

Singer Julie Fowlis said: "An iconic and generous musician, and a gentleman. It was always a joy and an education to be in his company. Fois shiorraidh dha anam." (Eternal rest for his soul)