A vaccine-hesitant singer who later begged his family to get the jab has died in hospital with Covid-19.
Marcus Birks, 40, from Staffordshire, died on Friday was described as a “selfless, proud man” by his “shattered” in a heartbreaking Instagram post.
Mrs Birks, who is pregnant, wrote: “The pain I feel writing this is unbearable, my heart has been ripped out, my soul and world completely and utterly shattered.
“I made him a promise that I will tell our baby boy everyday how much he loves him, how special he is and how he would have been/is the best dad a son could ever wish for.
“My heart has been completely ripped out”
Before his death, Mr Birks said he rarely got ill so wasn’t worried about Covid. He added information on the vaccine had been skewed by social media and conspiracy theorists.
Speaking to the BBC in August Mr Birks said: “If you haven’t been ill, you don’t think you’re going to get ill, so you listen to the [anti-vaccine] stuff,” Marcus Birks said.
He had been in the intensive care unit at Royal Stoke University Hospital.
“When you feel like you can’t get enough breath, it’s the scariest feeling in the world,” he said.
“I kind of was ignorant towards it and just put it off.
“First thing I am going tell all my family to do is get the vaccine and anybody I see.”
Top DJ Dario G paid tribute to Marcus on Instagram, writing: “Devastated doesn’t come close. Marcus you are one in a billion. You made everyone your/their best friend. Love you mate.”
He launched a campaign to get a song performed by Marcus and his wife Lis under the name The Cameleonz back into the charts.
He added: “Marcus always smashed his bucket list and achieved nearly everything he wanted in his amazing career.
“The only thing I knew he wanted was a Top 40 single.”