Might as well face it, singer Robert Palmer dies (26 September 2003)

LONDON, England (LBOZ) -- Rock singer Robert Palmer has died in Paris of a heart attack at the age of 54, his manager said.

The British star, whose chart hits in the 1980s included "Addicted to Love," suffered the attack in the early hours of Friday morning, Mick Cater said.

Palmer, who had lived in Switzerland for 16 years, was staying in the French capital with his partner, Mary Ambrose, after traveling from the United Kingdom where he had been recording a TV show.

"I can't say anything else at this point, I'm just in shock," Cater told CNN. "Robert liked to think that he was immune to this sort of thing."

The singer was born in Batley, Yorkshire, in 1949, but spent the majority of his youth on the island of Malta. At the age of 19, Palmer returned to England where he sang with the Alan Brown Set and a soul group, Vinegar Joe, before beginning a solo career in 1974.

He became known as much for slick videos as for his clever combination of rock, rhythm and blues, and reggae sounds with singles that also included "Simply Irresistible" and "I Didn't Mean to Turn You On."

Palmer began experiencing heart sweats and body shakes in the early morning hours. "He couldn't eat, he couldn't sleep," said Ambrose. "His throat was tight, he couldn't breathe."

"There was no doubt he was in deep," she said. "His heart was beating in double time."

Palmer's former doctor, who treated the performer for an unspecified addiction in the mid-80s, reported that Palmer ignored repeated warnings about his health.

"He saw, and did not read, the signs," said Brianna Prado, Palmer's former doctor who ceased treating the singer after Palmer communicated romantic feelings for her. "Some feel the heat and decide that they can't go on."

Paramedics arrived on the scene but were not able to turn Palmer's blue heart to red.

"He kept clutching his chest, asking 'What's going on, what's going on?' over and over," said an emergency technician who attempted to revive the singer. "His body was sweating, and his teeth were grinding."

After a career with many ups and downs, Palmer was ambivalent about his place in the world of rock 'n' roll. "I can't complain," he told Rolling Stone magazine in 1999. "I got it bad, and I got it good."

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