'A brilliant talent, a brilliant noise': Buzzcocks' Pete Shelley dies aged 63

'A brilliant talent, a brilliant noise': Buzzcocks' Pete Shelley dies aged 63

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).

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