Co-founder and lead singer of British punk band Buzzcocks, Pete Shelley, passed away yesterday at the age of 63.
According to BBC, the musician’s cause of death was a heart attack. He was in his home in Estonia where he lived with his wife Greta at the time of his death.
His fellow bandmates confirmed his passing through a series of tweets on Twitter.
“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,” one tweet begins on the band’s official Twitter account.
They added in a follow-up tweet, “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 band concluded the message promising a more detailed statement about Shelley’s death.
The punk band’s 27,000 Twitter followers quickly reacted to the first in the chain of tweets liking it over 16,000 times and re-tweeting it over 6,000 times.
“This music is eternal. What a gift to share with us,” one fan penned in response to the tweet.
In the American music world, the band was primarily known for their 1978 single titled, “Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve).” According to Irish Times, Shelley played a significant role in one of the first punk scene waves to hit the U.K.
The musician was born in 1955 under the name Peter McNeish. He founded the Buzzcocks with his best friend Howard Trafford in the earlier portion of 1976. They were both studying at Bolton Institute of Technology at the time.
Toward the end of 1976, Travis and Peter recorded Spiral Scratch. The album was a landmark in the punk scene because it was issued using their own independent label thus establishing DIY labels for musicians all across the U.K. The release of Spiral Scratch was also credited with the emerging of the term “indie” in the music industry, according to Irish Times.
Glen Matlock, known once as a member of the legendary Sex Pistols, was among the first to pay tribute to Pete on Twitter.
I am totally shocked and saddened to just hear of the untimely death of Pete Shelley.— Glen Matlock (@GlenMatlock) December 6, 2018
A superb songwriter, artist and a totally sweet hearted guy who was one of the very few originals of punk and even a one off within that.
My deepest condolences to his family and friends. pic.twitter.com/vqYRtYyf1C
Many other familiar faces in the music industry chimed in to pay their final respects to Shelley.
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) December 6, 2018
not been on here for a while, but I can't not mark the passing of Pete Shelley. I love(d) Buzzcocks. His songs were important to me when I was a young man and they still are to me now. Thank you Pete and R.I.P. You will be missed.— Norman Blake (@normanblake) December 6, 2018
Very sorry to hear the news about Pete Shelley. Buzzcocks were true innovators and a wonder: they took me to Manchester and were a major part of why I moved there. Here's one of my favourite pictures of him, taken by Linder Sterling in 1976: Punk as fuck pic.twitter.com/hJ1EImCGoU— Jon Savage (@JonSavage1966) December 6, 2018
While the Buzzcocks did split up in the early 1980s, they got back together before the 1980s concluded and continued to perform and record over the following three decades.
Rest in peace, Pete Shelley.