Singer Joe Cocker has died following a battle with lung cancer, his management team has confirmed.

The Up Where We Belong vocalist passed away on December 22.

Beatle Ringo Starr paid tribute to Cocker – who was born in Sheffield, England. One of Cocker's most famous songs was a cover of The Beatles' With A Little Help From My Friends, which Starr sang.

Cocker's agent Barrie Marshall called him "simply unique".

"It will be impossible to fill the space he leaves in our hearts," he told the BBC.

Cocker had been living in Colorado, in the United States, and he enjoyed a long career that included hits such as You Are So Beautiful.

Perhaps his most famous song was the Up Where We Belong duet with Jennifer Warnes, which featured in the film An Officer And A Gentleman. It earned both a Grammy and an Oscar.

He was awarded an OBE in 2007 and as recently as last year was performing to sell-out crowds in stadiums. Cocker played his final concert in Hammersmith, west London.