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Musician who penned Rod Stewart’s hit ballad Sailing dies

Iain Sutherland helped compose the classic song that became a hit for Sir Rod Stewart.

Iain Sutherland, left, performs with his brother Gavin. Getty Images

Tributes have been paid to the singer-songwriter Iain Sutherland – who penned Rod Stewart’s ballad Sailing – after he died aged 71.

Iain helped his brother Gavin compose and record the song Sailing before it was a hit for Sir Rod Stewart in 1975.

The songwriter, who was from Ellon, Aberdeenshire, died on Monday following an illness.

Performing with his brother as part of the Sutherland Brothers and Quiver, Iain also had a Top 10 hit with Arms of Mary.

His death was shared by his family on Facebook.

A post read: “It is with immense sadness that we share the news of the passing of Iain on Monday 25th November 2019.

“Peacefully at home with family around him.

“A much loved husband, father and grandfather, and a friend to so many, Iain was a talented singer, songwriter and musician who touched the lives of many through his music over the years.

“He continued to write throughout his illness and we will ensure that his legacy lives on… He will be deeply missed. Sans peur x”

The Sutherland Brothers’ version of Sailing in 1972 did not break into the Top 40, but Sir Rod went to number one in the UK and enjoyed a world-wide hit with the song.

Friends and fans posted tributes. Clare Mann wrote: “Such sad news. His music touched my life like no other.

“Condolences to all his family. R.I.P. Iain your music lives on.”

Kathleen Oliver wrote: “‘We are sailing’ will ensure his memory lives on.”


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