Jimmy Ellis

Jimmy Ellis

Soul singer JIMMY ELLIS has died at the age of 74.

He passed away at a nursing home in his native Rock Hill, South Carolina on Thursday (08Mar12) due to complications with Alzheimer's disease.

The musician shot to fame during the 1970s as the lead singer of The Trammps, who had hits with Hold Back the Night, Where the Happy People Go and most famously Disco Inferno, which featured in the classic movie Saturday Night Fever.

The popular tune, which has been covered by singers including Tina Turner and Cyndi Lauper, was inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame in 2005.

Ellis, who was born in 1937, first began singing gospel in his church choir and later went on to perform with R&B groups the Volcanoes and the Exceptions before forming his own band in Pennsylvania in 1972.