Madonna Pays Emotional Tribute to Her Protege, Model and Singer Nick Kamen

Just days after his death at the age of 59, Madonna has paid tribute to Nick Kamen. Kamen and the pop superstar developed a close friendship after she became fascinated by his "charisma" and "beautiful voice" following his appearance in an '80s Levi's ad, and the two went on to collaborate on numerous musical endeavors. After learning of his Tuesday passing, the singer paid tribute on social media, saying she was heartbroken.

The "Material Girl" reacted to Kamen’s death on Wednesday, taking to Instagram to share a gallery of photos. The first image in the carousel was a throwback black-and-white photo of herself and the late model and singer, with the remaining images highlighting points throughout Kamen's career. She shared the post alongside a caption reading, "its heart breaking to know you are gone. You were always such a kind, sweet human and you suffered too much. Hope you are happier wherever you are Nick Kamen."

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According to the BBC, Madonna collaborated with Kamen on "Each Time You Break My Heart." The track was co-written by Madonna and songwriter Stephen Bray and had initially been written for her album True Blue, though it went unused. After spotting Kamen, she reached out to him to record the song, with Madonna providing backup vocals. "Each Time You Break My Heart" reached number five in the U.K. and launched Kamen’s musical career. Madonna again sang backup vocals for his single "Tell Me," which was featured in his second LP.

Born Ivor Neville Kamen, Kamen also had a modeling career. He shot to stardom in the mid-'80s after appearing in a 1985 Levi's 501 commercial, soundtracked by Marvin Gaye's "I Heard It Through The Grapevine." The commercial saw Kamen, then just 18, walking into a laundromat and stripping down to his boxer shorts to wash his t-shirt and jeans as other patrons look on.

Kamen passed away Tuesday night at the age of 59. His death was first confirmed by the BBC, which cited a family friend who said Kamen passed away following a long illness. News of his passing prompted a flurry of tributes from celebrities, including Boy George, who wrote on Instagram, "R.I.P to the most beautiful and sweetest man Nick Kamen!" Duran Duran also paid their respects in a tweet, which read, "So so sad to hear of the passing of Nick Kamen. One of the loveliest and gentlest men I ever met. He was a beloved friend to my daughter and her Mom. We shall all miss him. RIP Nick- JT."