The singer and guitarist for a pioneering punk rock band died Thursday. Rolling Stone reports that Pete Shelley, one of the founders of the British band the Buzzcocks, died of what is suspected to be a heart attack. He was 63.
The publication quotes a spokesperson for the band saying: “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.”
“The Buzzcocks stood alongside the Clash and the Sex Pistols as pioneers of British punk,” Rolling Stone adds. “Shelley and Howard Devoto formed the band in 1975, and after Devoto left, Shelley took over as the lead singer and songwriter, his melodic sneer pairing perfectly with the Buzzcocks’ breakneck guitar attack.
“The group released their first EP, ‘Spiral Scratch,’ in 1977, while their debut album, ‘Another Music In a Different Kitchen,’ arrived the following year and cracked the Top 20 on the British album charts. The group enjoyed some domestic chart success during the late Seventies, with their most prominent single, ‘Ever Fallen In Love… (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve),’ peaking at Number 12.”
Shelley released solo albums in the 1980s before reuniting with the Buzzcocks in 1989. The band continued to tour regularly and released five more albums, including the most recent, “The Way,” in 2014.