House of Shem's Carl Perkins dies

Papa Carl Perkins.
Papa Carl Perkins. Photo credit: House of Shem/Facebook

The main man and driving force behind Kiwi band House of Shem has died.

Carl Perkins, known as 'Papa Carl', passed away on Wednesday after a 15-month battle with bowel cancer.

The band posted on Facebook saying the 59-year-old was surrounded by whanau.

"The majestic voice of the tui is silent, the great totara has fallen, return to your ancestors, return to our true home, farewell and goodbye."

Perkins started his career with reggae icons Herbs as a musician and songwriter. Herbs are best-known for their hit song 'Slice of Heaven', a collaboration with Dave Dobbyn.

He will be laid to rest on Saturday.