Davy Jones, second from right, was the lead singer of The Monkees.
Author Paul Levinson feels The Monkees were "uncomfortable with their success" because critics accused the made-for-TV band of being a fraud. Reuters

Monkees singer Davy Jones, 66, died from a massive heart attack near his home in Indiantown, Florida on Wednesday, his publicist has confirmed.

The singer complained of breathing troubles in early morning and then was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to Rhonda Irons, spokeswoman for the Martin County Sheriff's Office. Jones was survived by his wife Jessica and four daughters.

Jones was best known for the the lead singer of the pop group The Monkees, which was popular in both the US and the UK during the 1960s.

The band member included Jones, Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork, who were famous for their clean-cut image and were marketed as the American answer to The Beatles, notching up nine top 40 hits.

Jones' death has come as a crushing blow to his fans, who expressed their sorrow and paid rich tributes to their heartthrob.

The Twitter was flooded with rich tributes:

RIP Davy Jones. I can't believe this. - Emily Osment ‏ @EmilyOsment

When I told my kids Davy Jones died, they both shouted: Not the guy from Spongebob! is.gd/Wy7G3C #davyjonesrip#intergenerational - Michelle Malkin ‏ @michellemalkin

Davy Jones gone. How sad. Back when, the Monkees were almost as popular as the Beatles. Do you remember... fb.me/1rpnvV6fl - Roslyn Bashawaty ‏ @Rozfriends

Time to LEAP out and sing tribute: Davy Jones' Greatest Musical Moments @kathytwtr Rolling Stone rollingstone.com/culture/blogs/…via @rollingstone - Rachel Moussa ‏ @RachelMoussa

RIP Davy Jones/David Jones of The Monkey's.... I grew up watching the show when I was younger on Nick-at-Nite... You will be missed sir...! - PFC B. Pinkerton ‏ @PFCPinkerton

Jones' fans also paid rich tributes on Facebook:

R.I.P. Davy Jones... you were my FAVORITE Monkee! :( I'm gonna miss you... Xoxo - Lizzie Sider

Rest In Peace Davy Jones, You were always my biggest music hero in my life since Nick at Nite aired your show on tv when I was 10 and my dad took me to see you in concert when I was 12 years old (10th row of course)! Our generation forgets how special & important music used to be, and because of The Monkees I learned what musicians had the capacity to do. RIP DAVY JONES ♥ - Amanda K

Very sad to have found out during my lunch break that Davy Jones passed away. Dan and I just saw TheMonkees perform at Summerfest this past summer! I was so smitten with him when growing up . . . - Pam Krajewski

Rest in peace Davy Jones. You were and always will be such a heartthrob. ♥ We love you. Thanks 4 the music. Xo - Ari Ana

RIP Davy Jones..............no more Monkee'ing around........:-( - Sharon Trim