Soul legend Edwin Starr has died of a heart attack at age 61.

The American WAR singer had lived for many years in Britain and died at his home near Nottingham, according to his manager LILIAN KYLE.

CAN THE CAN singer SUZI QUATRO - who knew the soul-man since she was a teenager in Detroit - says, "He was the best. There was nobody better on stage and he was the nicest man you could ever wish to meet."

Her husband, RAINER HAAS - a producer of shows in Stuttgart, Germany, at which Starr had performed - adds, "He was just superb. He played to 16,000 people over the two nights and he put on a great show.

"The shows were actually recorded for television so we will have an enduring memory of how brilliant he was live."

Starr was born CHARLES HATCHER in Nashville, Tennessee, and formed his first group called THE FUTURE TONES in 1957 before being offered a solo deal in 1965.

He had his biggest success with the anti-conflict single WAR, which was an American number one in 1970 and number three in the UK.