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PETER Stringfellow's "heartbroken and devastated" daughter has paid tribute to her dad after he died aged 77 following a secret cancer battle.
His eldest daughter Karen, 55, posted a touching family photo with the eccentric nightclub boss after he passed away in the early hours of the morning.
His publicist, Matt Glass, confirmed the tragic news this morning, saying: "It's very sad news. He passed away in the early hours of this morning. It was kept very private, he didn't want to tell. He wanted to keep it a secret."
His eponymous London club on Covent Garden's Upper St Martins Lane will continue to operate "as normal", Mr Glass said.
Stringfellow, who was worth around £37million, was born in Sheffield in 1940, the oldest of four boys.
An early odd jobber, he served two weeks in jail in June 1962 for selling stolen carpets.
He began working in nightclubs the same year in his hometown and went on to build a dynasty of glitzy venues in the UK, New York and Los Angeles.
In his early years in the 1960s he had legendary acts such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks and Fleetwood Mac play at his venues.
After owning a string of clubs in the North he moved his family to London in 1980 where he would open his famed, self titled nightclub in Covent Garden.
With its topless girls and lavish late night entertainment, the Stringfellow brand became a byword for debauchery and sexual kicks.
The mogul said his clubs had hosted A-listers including Prince, Marvin Gaye, Rod Stewart and Tom Jones.
And it was not just celebrities who experienced Stringfellow's hospitality - Professor Stephen Hawking once joined him for dinner at one of the venues.
Following this success he would go on to open venues in Paris, New York, Miami, Beverly Hills.
Stringfellow married his third wife Bella in 2009 and they welcomed their first child, Rosabella, in August 2013.
In September 2015 the couple welcomed their son Angelo.
He also has a son and daughter, Scott and Karen, from his previous marriages.
Peter also had four grand children Taylor, Jaime, Thomas and Isabelle.
He underwent treatment for lung cancer after being diagnosed in 2008.
However he kept the diagnosis a secret for nearly six years, telling only family and close friends, until it was leaked in 2015.
Tributes have been flooding in from the showbiz world as news of Stringfellow's tragic death spread.
BBC Radio presenter Tony Blackburn said the King of Clubs was a "terrific guy who lived life to the full" and was "a wonderful person to be with".
He added: "He was always full of fun and to me was a big part of he 60's and 70's. R.I.P. Peter x."
Former boxer Frank Bruno tweeted: "RIP Peter Stringfellow, I met this man a few times over the years. A great guy & king of the discos. My thoughts are with his family."
Comedy actress Su Pollard, who knew Stringfellow and had worked with him, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "He was a fantastic role model for other entrepreneurs.
"When he was in the room - for a start, I used to think he was so handsome, I love men with long hair - he was lovely.
"I liked him because he was always warm, he could have probably been in showbiz in another area, but he chose to be an entrepreneur."
Pollard added: "You miss people that are large, and are givers. He gave of himself such a lot. He was a great person to be around, I feel for his family."
GMB presenter Kate Garraway added: "The “King of Clubs” & a great friend of @GMB #PeterStringfellow has died aged 77 . A controversial figure but anyone who actually met him loved him & I can’t help feeling the world’s a duller place this morning. Love & thoughts to his family xxx #rip."
Singer Sheila Ferguson paid tribute to her "dear friend" and tweeted a picture of herself with the nightclub owner and Princess Diana.
The Three Degrees star said: "Just waking to the news of my lifelong mate #PeterStringfellow. We 1st met here, Albert Hall, when we were appearing at The Princes Ball for #Charles and Diana.
"Peter & I only flew together from Mallorca a while ago. RIP dear friend."
Lord Sugar said: "He was a character and England is made up of characters, aren't we, and we've lost another flamboyant character.
"I'm sorry to hear it, and I wish his family well, I was so sorry to hear about it."
While journalist Tony Parsons shared a picture of Stringfellow with musicians Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye on Twitter, adding: "Peter had the biggest hair and the biggest heart. A lovely man."
Boy George tweeted: "R.I.P Peter Stringfellow. Wow, a big part of our lives and one of Sheffield's finest. What a character."
Jodie Marsh also paid tribute having worked as a lapdancer at the club. She said: "Sad to hear the news about Peter Stringfellow.
"I started out as a lap dancer in his club; as strip clubs go it was the classiest & most beautiful. He knew me as “Red” (my stage name in there).
"I loved my time there & he was a very clever man. Thoughts with Bella & kids #RIP".
Loose Women's Denise Welch tweeted: "Sending love to the family of our friend Peter Stringfellow. My husband @LincolnTownley loved him very much xxx"
Calum Best tweeted: "RIP Peter Stringfellow , so many amazing memories I have with this man , from when I first came to UK and he took care of me for years in his club to staying with him and his family in Spain.
"Rest in peace friend, my thoughts r with ur family. No doubt a legacy will live on ."
Comic Rufus Hound wrote: "RIP Peter Stringfellow. You're with the angels now. So no change there.