Gary Barlow is "devastated" after his father died suddenly yesterday (15.10.09).

The charity event for 'Children in Need' meant a lot to Gary. There is no way he would cancel the launch if it wasn't serious.

The Take That singer - who raises three children, Daniel, nine, Emily, seven, and nine-month-old Daisy with his wife Dawn - is being comforted by loved ones after his 71-year-old dad Colin passed away from a suspected heart attack.

A family friend said: "Everyone's devastated. It's not clear what's happened to Colin yet but it looks like he may have suffered a heart attack. We won't really know until the coroner's examination."

Another source added: "As soon as Gary heard he wanted to be with his family. The bereavement was such a shock. He is devastated."

The 38-year-old star grew up in Frodsham, Cheshire, with his father, his mother Marjorie and his older brother Ian.

Gary has always been close to his father, and even dedicated the track 'Nobody Else' - from the band's third album of the same name - to his parents.

The singer-and-songwriter has been forced to cancel the launch of BBC charity show 'Children in Need' this morning.

The friend added: "The charity event for 'Children in Need' meant a lot to Gary. There is no way he would cancel the launch if it wasn't serious."

His spokesman confirmed: "Gary has suffered a family bereavement and we would like to ask for privacy at this sad time."