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Soulful singer Leo De Castro dies
Leo De Castro - Photo supplied

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One of New Zealand’s great soul voices has been silenced.

Leo de Castro Kino died on Sunday in Auckland aged 70.

Born in Bennydale in 1948 and named after the doctor who delivered him, De Castro’s first break came in Auckland in 1968 when he joined the Dallas Four, adding a fiery soul edge to their sound.

In 1969 he headed across the Tasman where he found work with a number of bands, including King Harvest, the Johnny Rocco Band Leo De Castro and Friends and Leo De Castro and Babylon.

Despite being regarded as having one of the best voices around for soul, rock and funk he was sparsely recorded, releasing just seven singles and one Johnny Rocco Band album.

He returned to Auckland in 2008 because of ill health to live near his family.

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