TRIBUTES have been paid to a singing sensation who lost his long battle with illness.
Terry Slater – who was known as T J Slater – was highly regarded as a Sir Tom Jones tribute act and toured the world performing as the Welsh maestro.
T J won ITV show Stars in Their Eyes in 1999 performing as Sir Tom and alongside his brother Tony Slater he helped raise thousands of pounds for local charities.
The father of one and grand-dad of three, lived in Leyland.
He suffered from kidney disease for years and died on Wednesday at the age of 66.
His brother Tony paid tribute to his talented brother, who he said was often mistaken for the real Tom Jones .
He said: “He (TJ) was probably the number one tribute act in the world doing Tom Jones.
“He toured all over Europe, Las Vegas and Sun City – where I saw him receive a standing ovation.
“People who saw him could not believe he wasn’t Tom Jones – so much so that one particular night club in Spain billed him as Tom Jones, the Spaniards, the Germans, Swedes all believed he was and the owner had record takings that week.
“He was very famous in South Africa where he toured with one of Preston’s famous sons Eddie Calvert.
“He appeared on many of my shows that raised thousands of pounds for local charities, notably Baby Beat.”
The cabaret star only stopped performing in recent years as his health deteriorated.
His ex-wife Janice Slater said: “We knew he had been ill for some time but it is still a shock, he was hospitalised on Monday and passed away on Wednesday. He was brilliant at singing and he was very well respected. I’ll remember him taking ages with his hair and looking like he owned Preston.
“He was a true showman.”