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David Gest's final tour to go ahead with tributes to him and Billy Paul

ShowbizBy Sunday World
David Gest's final tour to go ahead with tributes to him and Billy Paul

The 'David Gest Is Not Dead but Alive With Soul Tour' is to go ahead in tribute to the late star.

In the weeks before his shock death at the age of 62 on April 12, David had been busy organising a spectacular soul tour of the UK which was to feature performances from music legends Russell Thompkins Jr, Deniece Williams, Peabo Bryson, The Tymes, Freda Payne, Melba Moore, Anita Ward, Fern Kinney and Billy Paul - who passed away at his home in Blackwood, New Jersey, on Sunday (24.04.16) at the age of 81.

Now David's close friend Imad Handi has been given permission by the deceased 'Celebrity Big Brother' star's lawyers to press ahead with the shows which will see 'Band of Gold' singer Freda take on David's compère role for the concerts.

Imad - who has co-produced David's tours for several years - hopes fans will come out to pay their respects to the concert promoter and celebrate his incredible life.

He exclusively told BANG Showbiz: "Just like myself, all the artists were devastated when they learned David had died. Over the years they had become like a family together due to their close working relationship and the musicians were determined to go ahead with the tour to remember David with their music.

"Although he was known for his reality TV appearances in the UK, he lived for hosting gigs and his soul reviews were always the highlight of his year. I did think about changing the name of the tour but then I decided to keep it as it is in keeping with David's mischievous sense of humour. And also it's true, he may sadly be gone but his spirit is alive in the music he loved."

There will musical tributes to David - who was life-long pals with Michael Jackson - with The Tymes performing his favourite ever song 'Ms. Grace' and Peabo will deliver a rendition of his track 'Missing You' for his late friend.

Following the sad news of 'Me and Mrs Jones' singer Billy's death there are plans in place to remember him with a performance by the acts on the bill.

Imad said: "Billy is such a big loss to music and was a great friend of David's. I've spoken with all the acts and we definitely plan to remember our departed friend with a song."

Imad also revealed there could be a comedy skit at the start of the shows involving the 'Little People of David Land' - the midget comedy act that he always booked for his shows.

He added: "David loved comedy and being silly as much as he loved his music and he always opened his shows with the Little People of David Land troupe and I'm sure it would please him looking down on us if we had the guys on stage."

'David Gest Is Not Dead but Alive With Soul Tour' dates:

1 July - York Barbican Centre

2 July - Newcastle City Hall

4 July - Hull City Hall

6 July -Leicester De Montfort Hall

7 July - Preston Guild Hall

8 July - Warrington Parr Hall

9 July - Liverpool Echo Arena

11 July - Stockport Plaza

13 July - Nottingham Albert Hall