Madonna has paid tribute to a former boyfriend following his sudden death.

The 'Hung Up' hitmaker briefly dated Mark Kamins - who passed away after suffering a ''massive coronary'' attack last Thursday (14.02.13) aged 57 - when, as a DJ and producer, he helped her launch her career when she was an aspiring singer in New York.

Madonna told The Hollywood Reporter: ''I'm very sorry to hear about Mark's death.

''I haven't seen him for years but if it weren't for him, I might not have had a singing career. He was the first DJ to play my demos before I had a record deal.

''He believed in me before anyone else did. I owe him a lot. May he Rest in Peace.''

Mark, who dated Madonna briefly at the start of her career, passed her demo onto Seymour Stein, boss of Sire Records, who immediately saw her potential and signed her to the label.

The DJ also produced her first single 'Everybody' in 1982.

The exact details of his death are unknown but it is believed he has been struggling with heart problems for some time.