Pete Shelley, frontman for groundbreaking punk outfit the Buzzcocks, passed away on Dec. 6 in Estonia. He was 63.
“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 wrote on their official Twitter. “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 Buzzcocks formed in the mid-70s, and became known for their catchy songwriting as well as their business saavy, forming their own label, New Hormones, when independent artists were still an anomaly.
Shelley became the primary songwriter for the Buzzcocks in 1977, following the departure of original lead singer Howard Devoto. His high-register vocals became the band’s signature sound, and it can be heard on hits like “Ever Fallen In Love” and “Why Can’t I Touch It?”
Below, watch the band perform their landmark tune “Ever Fallen In Love” live on Top of the Pops in 1978: