The English rock singer reportedly died from cardiac arrest, possibly as he was getting ready to go to the hospital, a relative told the outlet. Howe had heart issues and previously suffered a heart attack in 2017.
Howe’s career was catapulted when he became a vocalist for Ted Nugent’s Penetrator album. He was on hand with Nugent for the worldwide tour to support the album in 1984 before he joined Bad Company two years later.
He Joined Bad Company In 1986
Howe replaced founding member Paul Rodgers as the lead vocalist for Bad Company in the mid-1980s. Following the original band’s succession of ’70s rock radio hits such as “Feel Like Makin’ Love,” “Can’t Get Enough,” and “Running with the Pack,” Bad Company temporarily disbanded after the disappointing 1982 release Rough Diamonds.
In 1986, with Rodgers already committed to his new band The Firm, original members Mick Ralphs and Simon Kirke teamed up with Howe for a new incarnation of Bad Company. Howe is the singer and sometime-songwriter on the band’s late 80s and early 90s songs, including “If You Needed Somebody,” “How About That,” and “Walk Through Fire.”
In an interview last year with News-Press, Howe revealed that when he first joined Bad Company, he felt that the band was “a lost cause.”
“They’d lost all focus. They’d lost all ability to write songs,” he said.
When the iconic hard rockers attempted a more soft rock route on the album Fame and Fortune to go with the “more keyboard-influenced sound” popular in the mid-’80s, Howe warned his bandmates they were going down the wrong road.
“After that record, I kind of stamped my foot a little bit and said, ‘Guys, this is a rock ‘n’ roll band! We need to toughen things up a little bit. This is a guitar band, you know … and we need to get back on that,” he said.
Howe wrote most of the songs for the 1990 album Holy Water, which was the most successful album for his era of the group. Bad Company’s last album with Howe was 1992’s Here Comes Trouble, and he left the band in 1994 to pursue a solo career.
In addition to making music, in more recent years, Howe also hosted a podcast, Howe About That with Brian Howe, from his Fort Myers Beach home.
He Suffered A Previous Heart Attack In 2017
Howe told News-Press he was rushed to the hospital after suffering a “bad” widowmaker heart attack in 2017, and that his family was even told that he may have to be taken off life support at the time. He also stated that the attack came with no warning signs.
“I don’t remember anything about it,” Howe said of the medical emergency. “I was driving. And I was found in my car at a stop sign, unconscious. I don’t recall not feeling well. I don’t recall feeling anything. It was suddenly: Lights out.”
Howe underwent heart surgery to have stents put in, a procedure that took him a long time to recover from. The singer-songwriter also revealed that he had an aversion to heat following his heart attack.
In his final years, Howe had hoped to focus more on songwriting and country music.
“I still have to believe that maybe my best work is ahead of me,” the former Bad Company singer said in 2017.