BBC News has reported that David Gest, who was once married to Liza Minelli, has been found dead in his room at the Four Seasons Hotel in Canary Wharf in London. His “friend and former bodyguard,” Imad Handi confirmed the news. He was 62.
Gest, a music producer and reality show star, was scheduled to tour the United Kingdom in July with his latest show, named ironically enough, the “David Gest is Not Dead But Alive With Soul” tour, slated to have included several singers, including Dina Carroll and Freda Payne. The name of the tour stemmed from a mix-up in January when Gest was appearing on Celebrity Big Brother, and while he was sick in bed, a castmate mistook announcements of David Bowie”s death to be announcement’s of Gest’s death, saying on air, “Oh my God, David Gest is dead!”
Last year, Gest toured the U.K., playing 14 cities, with his “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” tour.
Gest spent 13 days in the Celebrity Big Brother house but left due to medical reasons.
While Gest was probably most well known to most people as Minelli’s one-time husband — they married in 2002, split in 2003 and officially divorced in 2007 — he did have a successful career in the entertainment industry.
He produced Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Celebration in 2001, which was the highest-rated music special in U.S. history, and was a childhood friend of both Michael and Tito Jackson.
Gest became well known in the U.K. when he appeared on I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here in 2006 (he finished in 4th place), and was later a judge on the talent show Grease Is The Word.
In 2011, Gest worked with Sir Richard Cliff on Cliff’s album Soulicious, helping create the concept for the album on which Cliff collaborated with soul singers such as Roberta Flack and Candi Staton. Gest also produced and directed Cliff’s “Soulicious” tour.
According to BBC, police were called to the Four Seasons at 10:17 a.m. today (Tuesday, April 12) on “reports of an unexplained death of a man in his 60s.” Police said Gest was declared dead at the scene and there do not appear to be any suspicious circumstances.
Born May 11, 1953 in Los Angeles, Gest had in recent years made his home in York, England.