Burns first rose to prominence in the eighties with the band’s best known song You Spin Me Round (Like a Record). He won a new generation of fans when he appeared on Celebrity Big Brother in 2006, finishing in a respectable fifth position.

Tragically Burns, who is originally from Wirral, Merseyside, died just days before his band’s new compilation album Sophisticated Boom Box MMXVI was due to be released.

In a statement jointly released by Burns’ partner Michael Simpson, his ex-wife Lyne Corlett and his manager Steve Joy, the pain caused by his loss was said to be immense.

The statement said:  “All of his family and friends are devastated by the loss of our special star. He was a true visionary, a beautiful talented soul and will be missed by all those who loved and appreciated everything he was and all of the wonderful memories he has left us with.

“We have no more words, we will make a further statement when we have had the chance to come to terms with our devastating loss. He will live forever in our memories.”

Burns was renowned for his androgynous appearance, which he candidly said was largely down to an extensive number of surgical procedures. He said he had had more than 300 cosmetic procedures to fix botched plastic surgery on his face, which left him depressed.

Even though he likened himself to Frankenstein’s monster, he said he would never stop having procedures, adding: “I hope when I’m 80 and I get to heaven God doesn’t recognise me.”

Burns had been due to appear on the ITV show Loose Women to promote his new album, but singer and television personality Alesha Dixon filled in at the last minute.

As soon as news of Burns’ death broke, tributes started flooding in from across the world, from fans and those who had worked with him.

Wayne Hussey, a former Dead Or Alive guitarist, who is currently touring with his band The Mission, said: “I’m sat in a dressing room in Bratislava and just received the devastating news that my ol’ mucker Pete Burns has sadly passed away. I can’t believe it.

“Pete was and will remain quite possibly the most naturally talented person I have ever worked with. Always larger than life, which sometimes tended to obscure that fact, with the quickest and most wicked tongue, he was always huge fun to be around. I loved Pete and learnt so much from him.”