Buzzcocks Frontman Pete Shelley Dies at 63
Pete Shelley, leader of the punk band Buzzcocks, has died at the age of 63.
The BBC is reporting that the cause of death is a heart attack. The band confirmed the news of Shelley's death on social media.
"It's with great sadness that we confirm the death of Pete Shelley, one of the U.K.'s most influential and prolific songwriters and co-founder of the seminal original punk band Buzzcocks," they wrote.
Shelley was born Peter Campbell McNeish in Lancashire, England. He formed Buzzcocks in 1976 with college pal Howard Devoto. Their first gig was that same year, when they opened for the Sex Pistols at a show in Manchester.
Their first single arrived a year after that. "Orgasm Addict" paved the way for a series of catchy punk songs -- some of the finest the genre had to offer. Most of them -- including "What Do I Get?," ""Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've)" and "Everybody's Happy Nowadays" -- were collected on the 1979 compilation Singles Going Steady, one of punk's essential albums.
Devoto had left the band before it released its first album, Another Music in a Different Kitchen, in 1978. It, too, became a cornerstone of the U.K. punk movement. Buzzcocks released two more albums before splitting up in 1981.
In 1989, Shelley -- the Buzzcocks' principal singer and songwriter -- reformed the band with original member Steve Diggle, and released the 1993 album Trade Test Transmissions.
They toured and released five more albums since then, with the last, The Way, arriving in 2014. In 2016, they celebrated their 40th anniversary with a career-spanning tour.
During the band's break, Shelley launched a solo career, which spawned the 1981 hit "Homosapien." He's released a handful of records over the years, including an album in 2016.