Published: Fri, December 07, 2018
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

Pete Shelley, Buzzcocks lead singer, dies aged 63

Pete Shelley, Buzzcocks lead singer, dies aged 63

He wrote: "This is the hardest thing I have ever had to do, is tell you my brother Pete Shelley had a heart attack this morning and passed away".

According to the BBC, Pete Shelley, frontman for punk rock heavy-hitters Buzzcocks, has died at the age of 63.

Shelley was born in Leigh and formed Buzzcocks in Bolton in 1975 with Howard Devoto.

However, they split after five years in 1981.

The Buzzcocks released their first EP, Spiral Scratch, on their own independent label, New Hormones, but Devoto soon left and Shelley took over as songwriter and lead vocalist. His high-register vocals became the band's signature sound, and it can be heard on hits like "Ever Fallen In Love" and "Why Can't I Touch It?"

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He tweeted: "Pete Shelley wrote flawless three minute pop songs".

Shelley continued his solo career that same year with the release of Homosapien, marking a departure from the punk stylings of Buzzcocks in favour of synthesizers and drum machines.

Buzzcocks reformed in 1989 and released new music, touring with bands such as Nirvana, the Adored, the Strays, Lola Ray, and Images.

Thorn called Shelley an "amazing songwriter", while Gaiman tweeted, "part of my youth dies with him".

The band was celebrated for their catchy, yet urgent three-minute songs and are often regarded, along with the Sex Pistols and The Clash, as among the originators of punk.

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