Brazilian singer/songwriter Nelson Ned has died, aged 66.

The diminutive crooner passed away at a hospital in Sao Paolo, Brazil on Sunday (05Jan14) after suffering complications from a bout of pneumonia.

Ned, who was known as the Little Giant of Song due to his short stature, rose to fame in his native Brazil in the 1970s and later became a favourite in countries such as Mexico and Argentina.

He enjoyed hits with songs including popular 1974 anthem Happy Birthday My Darling, which helped him become the first Latin artist to sell a million records in the U.S., and he performed with stars such as Julio Iglesias and Tony Bennett throughout his career.

The singer suffered a number of health problems in recent years, with reports suggesting he had been battling diabetes and the early stages of Alzheimer's disease in the last few years of his life.