Model Behind 1980’s Iconic Levi’s Ad Nick Kamen Has Died

The late Nick Kamen pictured in 1987

The 1980’s model and singer Nick Kamen, who stole hearts across the world in an iconic Levi’s Jeans ad in 1985 has died at the age of 59 his family have confirmed.

The Englishman became an overnight sensation after appearing in the advert for the Jeans brand’s famous ‘501‘s’ which was filmed in a launderette and saw him strip in what were relatively more subdued and simpler times.

Levi’s 501 – 1985 – Nick Kamen

The Essex born model also turned his hand to singing and that career turn peaked the next year with a top five hit Each Time You Break My Heart, which was written by Madonna.

His friend and fellow singer Boy George led the tributes on Wednesday, describing Kamen as “the most beautiful and sweetest man“.

Kamen – real name Ivor Neville Kamen – rose to fame in a jeans commercial, which showed him arrive at a laundrette and strip down to his boxer shorts, as several women looked on.

The advert, soundtracked by Marvin Gaye’s I Heard It Through The Grapevine, helped to boost the company’s denim sales and made him a sex symbol in the process.

It also caught the attention of the queen of pop, who told the BBC that she had been taken by Kamen’s “charisma” and “beautiful voice“.

Madonna then reached out and got Kamen to record the synth-pop track – left over from her third studio album True Blue – and she provided backing vocals.