RIP Kaz..💔 I shall sing for you tonight. (My god you made us laugh!)

A photo posted by Noel Gallagher (@themightyi) on

Noel Gallagher has paid tribute to Caroline Aherne dedicating a song to the comedian during his US gig. The former Oasis singer who was a close friend of the TV star had been informed of her death after a battle with cancer, just hours before he was due on stage with his group High Flying Bands.

In an emotional performance, Noel told the 2,400 capacity crowd at Nashville's famous Ryman Auditorium: "I want to dedicate the next song to a friend of mine who died this afternoon. Her name was Caroline and she was a very very very funny woman.

"She used this next song on a very very very very brilliant sitcom in England called The Royle Family." Pointing to the heavens he said: "So wherever you are."

He performed a moving rendition of his hit Half the World Away which was the theme tune to the hit sitcom The Royle Family.

Earlier on Saturday ( 2 July) after news of her death was reported, he posted a picture of Caroline on his Instagram account with the message: "RIP Kaz ... I shall sing for you tonight. (My god you made us laugh!)."

British fans at the US gig said that it was an emotional moment in the concert. Aimee Breeden told the Mirror Online: "It was just so moving. We all knew how emotional the concert was going to be and there were a few in tears when he sung. A lot of Brits had travelled from across the States to see Noel and they all knew what Caroline meant to him."

Both hailing from Manchester, Caroline and Noel were often seen out on the town together. He was even offered a part in the sitcom but turned it down due to work commitments.

The cast of The Royle Family have also been paying their personal tributes. Fighting tears Ricky Tomlinson, 76, who played her father Jim Royle in the hit comedy described Caroline as "one of the most generous people I have ever worked with. She was absolutely wonderful and amazing to work for. Kind, funny, witty. A true professional."

Ralf Little, who played her on screen brother Antony Royle said: "We've lost another one of our best. A character. A legend. A boss. A sister, real (for me) fake. A boss. A writer. An actor. A genuis. A friend. Big, big heart.."

The award-winning actress had battled cancer for most of her life beating bladder and eye cancer. Two years ago she revealed that she had been diagnosed with lung cancer.

The comic found fame in the 1990s as chat show host Mrs Merton. As well as the hit series The Royle Family she turned narrator for Channel 4's Gogglebox.

Caroline's publicist Neil Reading announced her death in a statement on 2 July, saying: "Caroline Aherne has sadly passed away, after a brave battle with cancer. The BAFTA award-winning writer and comedy actor died earlier today at her home in Timperley, Greater Manchester. She was 52. The family ask for privacy at this very sad time."

Tributes have continued to pour in in for the much-loved British comedian from the world of showbiz.