Buzzcocks' frontman Pete Shelley has died following a suspected heart attack. He was 63.
The band's management confirmed the singer-songwriter had passed away in Estonia where he had been living.
"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," the band announced.
"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."
One of the most influential bands to emerge from the punk scene of the late 1970s, Shelley and Howard Devoto were inspired by seeing the Sex Pistols live, yet found their own, more pop-leaning sound which drew on the personal experience rather than political outrage.
Releasing their Spiral Scratch EP on their own label New Hormones, Buzzcocks were one of the first truly indie bands, before signing to United Artists on 16 August 1977, the day Elvis Presley died.
Now without Devoto, who went on to form Magazine, the Shelley-led band initially struggled when the BBC refused to play single Orgasm Addict, but they went on to release three albums - Another Music In A Different Kitchen, Love Bites, and A Different Kind Of Tension - before splitting in 1981.
Shelley embarked on a solo career, and led the more experimental, post punk band The Tiller Boys, though Buzzcocks did reunite on several occasions after 1989. Shelley and Devoto also worked together for the first time since 1976 on 2002 electronic and punk album Buzzkunst.
Tributes to Shelley have flooded in following the announcement of his death last night (December 6).
Pete Shelley wrote perfect three minute pop songs. The soundtrack to being a teenager. You’ll be missed Pete but you’ll be remembered for a long long time for your brilliant music https://t.co/bt03fGbcgd— Tim Burgess (@Tim_Burgess) 6 December 2018
Pete Shelley RIP— Pearl Jam (@PearlJam) 7 December 2018
Playing shows with the @Buzzcocks was one of the highlights of my life. I listened to Singles and Tension as much as any records I’ve owned. Thank you, Pete, for all the great words and music. Condolences to Steve and the boys.
Pete Shelley - a true gent!— Peter Hook (@peterhook) 6 December 2018
He helped us so much at the start of our career out of a sheer love for all things punk. Without Pete & the Buzzcocks I would probably still be working at the Docks. RIP mate. X
Oh God but I loved Buzzcocks. And Pete Shelley was an amazing songwriter. "But after all life's only death's recompense." RIP ♥?♥? pic.twitter.com/vAAg7Jui52— Tracey Thorn (@tracey_thorn) 6 December 2018
RIP Pete Shelley pic.twitter.com/l634wdn1gH— PIXIES (@PIXIES) 7 December 2018
I am very sad to hear about Pete Shelley’s passing. He was part of the soundtrack of my youth. Cindy and I were lucky enough to see Buzzcocks in Los Angeles a while back. It was excellent, the fire and beauty of those songs was still there. RIP a true poet of punk.— Lol Tolhurst (@LolTolhurst) 7 December 2018
Shocked to hear of the passing of our good mate Pete Shelley who’s fabulous songs are amongst the catchiest in all of punk rock. We will miss you Pete - love from @damnedtwits, X pic.twitter.com/VJeq4Nh5JR— Captain Sensible (@sensiblecaptain) 6 December 2018
Buzzcocks paved the way for the indie release with the self-publication of ‘Spiral Scratch’ in ‘77. They were amazing live. We at Rough Trade are very saddened by the passing of Pete Shelley, a prolific songwriter who inspired so many. RIP, you will be truly missed x pic.twitter.com/9SnEfvLUHn— Rough Trade (@RoughTrade) 6 December 2018
Just heard about Pete Shelley. A great man. He tried to write pure punk, he really did, but out came perfect pop. Recall dim punks saying Buzzcocks were 'too good sounding' which was meant to be a bad thing. They were so, so good. A brilliant talent, a brilliant noise. Forever.— Danny Baker (@prodnose) 7 December 2018
RIP Homosapien Pete Shelley - one of the loveliest spirits to emerge from the UK punk era. A true original with a wicked way with words and a big, big heart. pic.twitter.com/fsndGQPKXW— Tom Robinson (@freshnet) 6 December 2018
Saw Pete Shelley with the Buzzcocks in August ‘76 supporting the Clash and the Pistols. First punk band I ever heard/saw and that night they helped to change my life. Pete was one of Britain’s best pure pop writers, up there with Ray Davies. To young to go. So very sad. pic.twitter.com/5HfzUvM5X4— Gary Kemp (@garyjkemp) 6 December 2018
Rest In Peace Pete Shelley . As a lifelong @Buzzcocks fan...I so appreciate the musical influence Pete. Condolences to your family....— Duff McKagan (@DuffMcKagan) 6 December 2018
RIP Pete Shelley! When I was 19 we occupied our college building on Regent Street in London for some reason I forget and someone told Pete Shelley and he turned up in the middle of his night with his guitar and did an impromptu solo show for us.— jon ronson (@jonronson) 6 December 2018
Pete Shelley's Tour de France masterpiece pic.twitter.com/kmkjodX0C0— James Dart (@James_Dart) 6 December 2018