dDub singer Derek Browne dies just days before release of final album

Derek Browne, lead singer of New Zealand roots/reggae band Ddub, has died after a short battle with prostate cancer.

The 49-year-old was diagnosed late last year, which gave him just enough time to record a final album of songs before dying on Tuesday.

"Just me and my guitar - that's all it is," he told The Project earlier this year. 

"That's all I'm focusing on. Don't want to get too fussy or make it too perfect - it's all I have time for."

The high-energy frontman and former arborist was reportedly still climbing trees just two weeks before his diagnosis with stage four prostate cancer in November, which he said came out of nowhere.

"It just cut him off at the knees, straight away," said his wife, Veronica Herber.

Browne chose to spend weeks in the studio getting his final songs down rather than undergo life-prolonging chemotherapy.

"I just want to get them down, just have to get them down," he told The Project. "Sleep, record, sleep, record."

Tests showed his liver might not have been able to cope with chemotherapy anyway, according to a Givealittle page set up to pay for his medical expenses.

The eight-song record, Dreaming House, is out on May 1.