Deon also played bass for music legends including Tina Turner, Frank Zappa, George Clinton, Annie Lennox, and Sir Elton John across his career.
Tributes swiftly poured in for the musician, with Wham!’s Andrew Ridgeley penning o Twitter: ‘V. sad news today of Deon Estus’ death. A lavishly gifted bass guitarist, a charismatic & impish character & a rock of the WHAM! rhythm section.
‘He lives large in the memory, he radiated warmth, humour & life’s illuminating light, my heartfelt commiserations go out to his family (sic)’
Wham! backing singer Shirlie Kemp tweeted: ‘Shocked to hear the passing of such a lovely man. Spent so many years with Deon touring with Wham. God Bless..RIP @DeonEstus (sic)’
Her husband, Martin Kemp, of Spandau Ballet, added: ‘Farewell my friend. Mr Club Tropicana… His bass playing helped create the sound of the 80s…. A brilliant talent…..RIP Deon.’
One of Deon’s most recent appearances was his performance during Cowboys & Angels: An Evening Celebrating the Life and Music of George Michael on what would have been George’s 64th birthday at the O2 Academy Brixton in June 2019.
WHAM! bass player Deon Estus has died at the age of 65.
Andrew Ridgeley – one half of pop duo Wham! – paid tribute to the “lavishly gifted bass guitarist” on Twitter.
“V. sad news today of Deon Estus’ death,” the 58-year-old wrote.
“A lavishly gifted bass guitarist, a charismatic & impish character & a rock of the WHAM! rhythm section.
“He lives large in the memory, he radiated warmth, humour & life’s illuminating light, my heartfelt commiserations go out to his family.”
The news of his death was confimed on Deon’s official Twitter page.
“It is with real sadness I post that Deon Estus passed away,” the tribute reads.
“Deon was mostly known as the third member of Wham!
Estus’ partner Brenda Kaye Pearce paid tribute to the bassist on Facebook (via Billboard), writing: “My dearest, closest partner and significant other of 4 years transitioned and all I can remember is our last conversation the day before. My heart will need time to heal. R.I.P. Deon. Love you forever.”
Most famous for playing with Wham! and George Michael, Estus also co-wrote the hit 1989 song ‘Heaven Help Me’ with Michael, which went on to be a Top Five hit in the United States. It appeared on his sole studio album, ‘Spell’.
Elsewhere in his career, Estus played bass for a number of world famous stars including Elton John, Marvin Gaye, Tina Turner, Annie Lennox and Frank Zappa.
Since news of his death was shared, tributes have come pouring in on social media. Wham! backing singer and Pepsi & Shirlie member Shirlie Kemp wrote: “Shocked to hear the passing of such a lovely man. Spent so many years with Deon touring with Wham. God Bless..RIP.”