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Bee Gees manager Ken Kragen dies aged 85

Ken Kragen, manager of the Bee Gees and Lionel Richie, has died aged 85 (Kragen family/PA)
Ken Kragen, manager of the Bee Gees and Lionel Richie, has died aged 85 (Kragen family/PA)

Ken Kragen, manager of the Bee Gees and Lionel Richie, has died aged 85.

The TV and film producer, who co-organised the 1985 charity single We Are The World, died from natural causes on Tuesday at his home in California’s  Brentwood.

He died “peacefully” and surrounded by members of his family, a spokesperson said in a statement.

Kragen worked in the  music and entertainment industry for many years managing other well-known celebrities including Kenny Rogers, Olivia Newton-John and Burt Reynolds.

His wife of 43 years, actress Cathy Worthington, said: “To have been married to someone of such character and loving goodness is the honour of my life.”

Daughter Emma Kragen added: “While I am of course immensely proud of everything he has accomplished professionally, he has also been the best dad to me that I could ever ask for.”

A graduate of Harvard Business School, Kragen helped create and organise historic humanitarian projects including We Are the World and Hands Across America.

He was awarded the United Nation’s Peace Medal for the projects, making him one of only a few private citizens to receive the honour.

He also received two MTV Awards, an American Music Award, several Emmy nominations, Manager of the Year Award from the Conference of Personal Managers and was the only individual ever elected President of both The Country Music Association and Academy of Country Music.

Kragen was born on November 24, 1936 in Alameda, California.

A memorial tribute will be planned for the future.

Spokesperson Cheryl J Kagan said: “We ask that the Kragen family be given the opportunity at this time of loss to grieve privately.”

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