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Rock singer Gito Rollies
dies at 60

Former Indonesian rock singer Bangun Sugito, better known as Gito Rollies, died on Thursday, succumbing to lymphatic cancer he had suffered since 2005. He was 60, and is survived by his wife, Michelle, and four children.

A close friend, Dani Pete, told Antara newswire Gito died at about 6:45 p.m.

Another friend, Adrie Subono, said Gito was admitted to Pondok Indah Hospital on Wednesday morning.

"His wife told me he had felt sick and fainted before he was rushed to the hospital," Adrie said.

Adrie, a music promoter, recalled Gito as a reborn devout Muslim after years of alcoholic and drug addiction during his heyday as a rock star.

In one of his interviews, Gito said he changed his life in 1997 when he was 50. Since then Gito has been active in propagating Islam and was often seen addressing sermons in mosques or public gatherings, although he refused to be called uztadz (Muslim cleric).

"Thanks to Allah, I understand life does not end in this world. There is an eternal life after death. Success should not be achieved only on earth but most importantly in heaven," he told Republika daily in an interview last year.

Gito had starred in a number of films since he quit from the music stage. He won the Best Supporting Actor Award at the Indonesian Film Festival in 2005 for his role in Joko Anwar's Janji Joni.

"He (Gito) was a friendly and caring person," director Joko told The Jakarta Post.

Gito joined the Bandung-based Rollies group band in 1967 as a vocalist and soon rose to fame. The rock band, named after English band the Rolling Stones, produced a number of top hit albums, including Astuti and award-winning Kemarau (Drought), to name a few.

Gito admitted idolizing Rolling Stones vocalist Mick Jagger.

After being diagnosed with lymphatic cancer, Gito underwent chemotherapy in Singapore.

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