Wayne Fontana, 'Game of Love' Singer, Dead at 74

Wayne Fontana has passed away at the age of 74. The singer, whose real name was Glyn Geoffrey Ellis, died at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport on Thursday. He took his stage name from D.J. Fontana, who was one of Elvis Presley's first drummers.

"On behalf of the family of Wayne Fontana regret to announce he passed away this afternoon at Stepping Hill Hospital, Stockport," Fontana's family wrote in a statement, according to The Daily Mail. "His long term partner was by his side. Known for his 1965 hit 'Game of Love.' Family asks for privacy at this time."

Fontana first skyrocketed to fame back in 1964 with his band, The Mindbenders. The group had hits like the aforementioned "Game of Love," which topped the charts in the U.S. that year, along with "Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um." Eminem sampled "Game of Love" on his 2013 song "Love Game." Fontana ended up quitting the band in 1965 when he walked off stage mid-concert. The Mindbenders continued without him, and ended up scoring another hit with "A Groovy Kind of Love."

Fontana was still under contract with the label and struck out as a solo act under the name The Opposition, although occasionally he would call his band was billed as The Mindbenders or The Wayne Fontana Band. He released a number of singles, with the A side being collaborations with other songwriters, while the B side would be his own compositions. Fontana's biggest solo single, "Pamela, Pamela" was written by Graham Gouldman. It was his last single to chart in the UK, topping out at number 11. His later singles included "The Impossible Years," which was also written by Gouldman. Never reaching the level of success he found with The Mindbenders, he took a break from music in 1970.

In the years following his time with the Mindbenders, Fontana became embroiled in legal troubles back in 2007. In November of that year, Wayne was sentenced to 11 months in jail after he set fire to a bailiff's car over an unpaid charge. The judge that presided over the case told the singer that he deserved prison after carrying out the attack, which was apparently motivated by his belief he was the victim of a conspiracy by the establishment.


Fontana ended up serving his term while under the Mental Health Act and was allowed to walk free following his sentence. Doctors had also diagnosed him with a paranoid illness and depression, although they stated in court that they didn't believe that he was a danger to himself or others.