American singer GENE PITNEY has been found dead in a hotel room in Wales. He was 65. His tour manager, and friend of 30 years, discovered him in his bed at the Hilton hotel in Cardiff this morning (05APR06). Friends and family are baffled by his sudden death - he was midway through a tour of the UK and showed no signs of ill health. MARK HOWES, from his management company, says, "He did a good show last night at St David's Hall and it was wonderful. "I've seen him quite a few times on this tour and he was fit and well. He said it was the best tour he had done for quite a few years." Pitney is most famous for single TWENTY FOUR HOURS FROM TULSA and his 90s duet with Marc Almond, SOMETHING'S GOTTEN HOLD OF MY HEART, but he was also an immensely successful songwriter, penning tracks for the likes of RICK NELSON, Roy Orbison, BOBBY VEE and MARTY WILDE. He is also credited with helping THE Rolling Stones break the American market. Pitney is survived by his wife LYNNE and three sons who live in his native Connecticut.