Tributes have been paid to the Runrig lead vocalist Bruce Guthro who has died at the age of 62.

Mr Guthro's former bandmate, the MP Pete Wishart, announced the news and said the Canadian singer had been "just the nicest person you could ever hope to meet and a joy to perform with".

In a career spanning more than 40 years, the singer-songwriter joined the Scottish rock band in 1998 and remained with the group until its final performances in 2018.

Mr Wishart, who played keyboard for the band before he became an SNP politician, said: "He was just the nicest person you could ever hope to meet and a joy to perform with.

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"An exceptional singer, musician and songwriter taken far too soon.

"We are going to miss him."

A statement from the band said: "It is with heaviest of heart and with profound sadness that we inform you of the news that Bruce passed away last night, having finally lost a long battle with cancer that has stretched back many years.

"Everyone associated with Runrig is heartbroken at the loss of a dear friend and such a special musical colleague.

"Our immediate thoughts and prayers at this time are with Kim, Dylan and Jodie." 

Speaking to BBC Radio Scotland's Drivetime programme, Mr Wishart added: "We've lost a friend, but we will never to hear this wonderful voice singing voice live again."

The Herald:

In July Mr Guthro had posted on social media that he had been battling health issues for some time and was not able to go ahead with live performances.

An award-winning artist, he joined Runrig after Donnie Munro left the band.

Mr Wishart said the group had almost given up looking for another lead singer when Guthro auditioned.

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He said: "Bruce came in that day when Scotland were playing Brazil in the 1998 World Cup and we had half an eye on the football and half an eye on Bruce.

"When Bruce sang we turned around almost with our jaws hitting the ground with the quality of Bruce's voice."

Mark Ruskell MSP, Scottish Greens spokesperson on culture, said: “For many, Runrig and Bruce Guthro were about more than music."

Many of Runrig's songs were in Gaelic. Mr Ruskell added: "His voice was a clarion call for Scots everywhere to think of home, the Gaelic culture, and the spirit that makes us so fiercely passionate about who we are.

"He may have been born in Cape Breton Island in Canada, but his legend was forged in the hearts of tens of thousands of music fans across the world.

"Our thoughts are with his family, his friends and all those who will miss his extraordinary talent.”

Runrig enjoyed UK chart success in the 1990s and in 2018 sold-out their final performances, the two-day The Last Dance - Farewell Concert in Stirling.