Pete Shelley, Punk Band Buzzcocks’ Singer & Co-Founder, Dead At 63

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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.

Many other familiar faces in the music industry chimed in to pay their final respects to Shelley.


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.