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Buzzcocks Legend Pete Shelley Dies Aged 63

Thursday, 06 December 2018 Written by Huw Baines

Photo: Pete Shelley, second from right, with Buzzcocks

Pete Shelley, co-founder and leader of Buzzcocks, has died aged 63.

The BBC reports that the punk frontman died in Estonia, where he was living, from a suspected heart attack. In a statement, his bandmates said:

It's with great sadness that we confirm the death of Pete Shelley, one of the UK's most influential and prolific songwriters and co-founder of the seminal original punk band Buzzcocks.

Pete's music has inspired generations of musicians over a career that spanned five decades and with his band and as a solo artist, he was held in the highest regard by the music industry and by his fans around the world. A more detailed statement will follow.

Shelley formed Buzzcocks, said by many to have created the blueprints for what later became pop-punk, with Howard Devoto in 1976. A year later their ‘Spiral Scratch’ EP became one of the first releases by a British punk band.

Devoto’s exit soon after precipitated Shelley’s taking over as lead vocalist in time for their 1978 debut LP, ‘Another Music in a Different Kitchen’. Along with notable records like ‘Love Bites’ they released the seminal compilation ‘Singles Going Steady’ before their split in 1981.

The band subsequently reformed as a recording and touring concern, with their most recent release, ‘The Way’, arriving in 2014.

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