De Paul, who represented the UK in the 1977 Eurovision Song Contest with the song Rock Bottom, had five top 20 UK chart hits, including 1972’s Sugar Me and a string of hits throughout Europe.
She became the first woman to win an Ivor Novello award for songwriting.
“Although she was small in stature, she was very big in positive personality,” said her agent Michael Joyce. “She was always so positive about everything.”
Her sense of humour informed her close friendship with Spike Milligan, who reportedly nicknamed the diminutive star ‘Looney De Small’.
De Paul, who broke into the music scene in 1971, followed up her Sugar Me hit with Getting a Drag, reaching number 18 in the charts.
Her 1973 hit Won’t Somebody Dance With Me won her her first Ivor Novello award.
A second Ivor Novello Award followed a year later for No Honestly, which was also the theme tune to the ITV comedy of the same name, starring Pauline Collins and John Alderton.
De Paul never married but was romantically linked to a string of well-known men including James Coburn Sean Connery, Dudley Moore and Ringo Starr.
She reached the height of her popularity in the mid-1970s, with number one hits in Switzerland, Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands – although never the UK.
However, her popularity waned in the late 1970s although she continued to compose and perform, famously singing her own song at the Conservative Party conference in 1983.
In 1992, De Paul presented a documentary about women’s self-defence, called Eve Fights Back, which won a Royal Television Society award.
The singer had spoken previously of her abusive childhood, and her history of violent relationships.
Her niece, Olivia Rubin, told the Times her death was “completely unexpected”.
“She was a vegetarian, she didn’t smoke, she didn’t drink – she was amazing, in fact.”
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