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updated 1/4/2011 6:15:46 PM ET 2011-01-04T23:15:46

Gerry Rafferty, the Scottish singer-songwriter behind hit songs "Baker Street" and "Stuck in the Middle With You," has died. He was 63.

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Rafferty's agent Paul Charles confirmed Tuesday that his client had passed away following a long illness, but said he had no additional information on how or where he had died.

Video: Songwriter Gerry Rafferty dies (on this page)

Rafferty's classic record "Baker Street" — renowned worldwide for its distinctive haunting saxophone solo — climbed to No. 3 in the U.K. and No. 2 in the U.S. music charts in 1978. It still achieves considerable airplay on radio stations.

The singer also recorded "Stuck in the Middle With You" in 1972 while performing as part of the Scottish folk-rock band Stealers Wheel. The ode — or mocking tribute— to Bob Dylan's raspy voice grew new wings in film maker Quentin Tarantino's movie "Reservoir Dogs," and has sold more than a million copies worldwide.

Gerry Rafferty's 'Baker Street' blues: Rolling Stone's 1978 feature

Rafferty made headlines in recent years for his public struggles with alcoholism and had also undergone treatment for liver failure. He reassured fans of his well-being in February 2009 after a former bandmate expressed concerns over his health and whereabouts in the press. Later that year, Rafferty released the album "Life Goes On."

After initially cutting his teeth as a busker, Rafferty appeared with Scottish comedian Billy Connolly in folk group the Humblebums and released a solo record before founding Stealers Wheel.

Despite his brushes with negative press — from a long-running contract dispute with Stealers Wheel to scathing character critiques posted online by his brother, Jim — Rafferty was described by employees at his latest record label as a man who kept to himself and shunned the spotlight.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Video: Songwriter Gerry Rafferty dies

  1. Transcript of: Songwriter Gerry Rafferty dies

    BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: Everybody alive at the time knew his music, " Stuck in the Middle with You " and later " Baker Street " back in 1978 , which sold millions of copies. The singer/songwriter Gerry Rafferty has died. He was born near Glasgow in Scotland to an Irish-born coal miner father and a tough family. He lived in California for a time, but settled back in the UK , where tonight the Guardian newspaper , in a very blunt obituary, says, quote, "alcohol dominated this creative and intelligent man's life." Gerry Rafferty was just 63 years old.

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