Frontman of rock group Cockney Rebel Steve Harley has died "peacefully at home, with his family by his side" aged 73, his family has said.

A statement from his wife, Dorothy, and children, Kerr and Greta said: “We are devastated to announce that our wonderful husband and father has passed away peacefully at home, with his family by his side. The birdsong from his woodland that he loved so much was singing for him. His home has been filled with the sounds and laughter of his four grandchildren.

“Stephen. Steve. Dad. Grandar. Steve Harley. Whoever you know him as, his heart exuded only core elements. Passion, kindness, generosity. And much more, in abundance.

“We know he will be desperately missed by people all over the world, and we ask that you respectfully allow us privacy to grieve.”

This year, Harley announced he was unable to commit to any concerts due to his poor health, Sky News reports.

Singer-songwriter Harley had been battling cancer and receiving treatment for it.

The rock band were best known for their hit Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me), which went to number one in the UK charts in 1975.