DARRYL Cotton will be remembered for his genuine and honest nature, says his long-time friend, Romsey artist Debbie Daks.
Cotton, 62, died on Friday of liver cancer. He was diagnosed in May.
He was a familiar face around Hesket where he lived with his family.
Cotton and Daks worked together on Saturday morning children's program The Early Bird Show in the 1980s.
They have been friends for 30 years and kept in regular contact.
"He was a great mate, very special," Daks said. "He had a wicked sense of humour. I have a party every year at my studio in Romsey and he came and played.
"I'm walking into my studio now and I remember this was the last place I saw him, and it was only in April. He was an amazing, generous man in his time.
"It feels half not real. We're really going to miss him."
Cotton was the founding member of Australian rock band Zoot in the '60s.
He was a successful songwriter and performer in Australia and in the US, also writing songs for Olivia Newton-John and Shaun Cassidy.
Zoot guitarist Rick Springfield, who lives in the US, took to Facebook last week to pay tribute to Cotton.
"We were bandmates in our early 20s and good friends in our early '60s," he wrote.
"Darryl Cotton, lead singer of the best band I was ever in, passed away this morning [Friday] ... He now knows what we all want to know. Bless your great spirit, my friend. Keep a spot in the band for me up there. All my love to your great life and your beautiful family."
Fans also paid tribute to Cotton on social media sites. Cotton's solo hit Same Old Girl made the Top 10 in 1980. He also had an acting career with a role in TV soap The Young Doctors.
Cotton is survived by wife Cheryl and children Amy and Tim.