2 Oct 2016

Country crooner Toni Williams dies

3:30 pm on 2 October 2016

The singer and entertainer Toni Williams has died in Christchurch Hospital, at the age of 77.

Toni Williams performing in 1992.

Toni Williams performing in 1992. Photo: YouTube

Mr Williams was born in Rarotonga and emigrated to New Zealand in 1950.

After playing in rock-and-roll bands in the 1950s, Williams' solo career gained prominence throughout the 1960s and 1970s, and he was known for his crooner-style voice and live performances.

One of Mr Williams close friends, entertainer Brendan Dugan, said he was a national treasure who would be sorely missed.

"One of the nicest men you'd ever ever wish to meet. He never ever had a bad word about anybody.

"I've just talked to Gray Bartlett and a few other performers and we've just been reminiscing with about the fun times we had with Toni, and believe me there've been some wonderful times."

Toni Williams' single "The One I Sing My Love Songs To" peaked at number nine on the New Zealand charts for two weeks in August 1977.

It was the follow-up single to the Peter Posa penned "Rose (Can I Share A Bed With You)" which reached number 28 in April 1977. Another song, "Tellabout" featured on the 1972 album Studio One Hits.