DAVID R Edwards, the musician and lead vocalist of the one of Wales' most influential Welsh language bands, has died at the age of 56.

Widely recognised as a giant of modern Welsh music and culture, he formed the band Datblygu whilst at Cardigan Secondary School in 1982.

"Dave Datblygu" was celebrated as one of the foremost musicians of the alternative music scene, influencing bands such as Super Furry Animals.

In his autobiography - Atgofion Hen Wanc - released in 2009, he had shared his feelings about Cardigan, and the love he felt for his parents.

As a poet, he embodied opposition to the establishment, while his music helped to propel Welsh language and culture during the 1980s.

Following the news of his passing, people from across Wales and beyond have paid tributes, including Wales' First Minister Mark Drakeford.

"Incredibly sad news - Wales has lost a cultural giant," Mr Drakeford posted on Twitter on Tuesday.

Three of Datblygu 's most well-known albums, Wyau (1988), Pyst (1990) and Libertino (1994) - are seen as pinnacles of modern Welsh language music.

He began publishing music as Datblygu again in the 2000s, and their most recent album - Cwm Gwagle - was released during the pandemic last summer.

His friend, musical partner and 'soul mate' Patricia Morgan described him as "one of the best friends you could ever have" following his passing,

"A huge, generous personality, a bear of a man; his legacy will live on," she posted on Twitter.

A statement from record label PYST, read: “David was a loving, faithful, creative, kind, funny and wise individual whose loss to us all will be immense.

“Without David there would not have been any Ankst Records or Cool Cymru.

"Without his friendship, talent and love over the decades life here in Wales would have been so much poorer and duller.

“His voice and his words will definitely live on and continue to astonish.

"Our debt to David is enormous and we thank him for sharing his life and talent with us.

“Our condolences go out to his family and friends as we deal with this heart-breaking news.”

The group Datblygu was formed in 1982 by David R Edwards and T Wyn Davies, schoolboys from Cardigan, with Pat Morgan joining two years later.

The late DJ John Peel was an avid fan of their music, and invited them to record five sessions for him.

Super Furry Animals recorded Datblygu's Y Teimlad on their fourth studio album, Mwng.

Edwards's health problems and problems with alcohol were chronicled in an O Flaen dy Lygaid documentary, produced by BBC Cymru for S4C.

At the height of 'Cool Cymru' in the late nineties he withdrew from performing and releasing music, and began treatment for mental health problems.

By the beginning of the new century, his health appeared have improved, and he was once again living an independent life in Carmarthen.

Edwards' autobiography was published in 2009, and he released a series of English poems in 2017.

Datblygu's last album - Cwm Gwagle - was released in 2020 was just last week was shortlisted for the Welsh Language Album of the Year prize.

Among those to pay tribute to Edwards were rockers Super Furry Animals‘ frontman Gruff Rhys.

“His contribution to the Welsh language can’t be overestimated and his work with Datblygu serves as a focal point for its vibrant counter-culture,” he said.

“I’ve no doubt his influence will grow.”

Cardiff-born Mark Bowen, formerly of Creation Records and co-founder of Wichita Records, said: ““To hear (John ) Peel play a record in Welsh that stood head and shoulders above anything else he played that night was a stunning moment for a teenager who had never felt “cool” for his nationality before.

“David made me feel like anything was possible, and although I never got to meet him, I will always owe him so much.”