The Scottish singer who originally performed Sir Rod Stewart’s classic hit ‘Sailing’ has died at the age of 71.

Family members of Iain Sutherland paid tribute to the “talented” songwriter who “touched the lives of many through his music over the years” after he passed away following a battle with illness.

Iain, from Ellon in Aberdeenshire, initially released the song with brother Gavin as part of the Sutherland Brothers in 1972, however it failed to break into the top 40.

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It was only when Stewart performed the track three years later that it became an international sensation, staying at number one in the UK for a month and reaching the top five in over a dozen countries.

The Sutherland Brothers had their own top ten hit a year later with ‘Arms of Mary’ before disbanding in 1979.

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Mr Sutherland’s family posted on Facebook: “It is with immense sadness that we share the news of the passing of Iain, peacefully at home with family around him.”

"A much loved husband, father and grandfather, and a friend to so many, Iain was a talented singer, songwriter and musician who touched the lives of many through his music over the years.”

It added: "He continued to write throughout his illness and we will ensure that his legacy lives on. He will be deeply missed."