Obits — February 12, 2015 at 2:16 pm

Steve Strange, Visage frontman and New Romantic pioneer, 1959-2015

Steve Strange

Steve Strange, the Blitz Kid, frontman of synthpop group Visage — best known for its Top 10 hit “Fade to Grey” — and key figure in the New Romantic movement of the late ’70s and early ’80s died today of heart failure at a hospital in Egypt, Visage announced via Facebook.

He was 55.

Visage’s Facebook page posted the following today:

We are extremely saddened to announce that Steve Strange died at 11.15 local time on Thursday 12th February, in Sharm El Sheik International Hospital, Egypt. Steve died in his sleep, of Heart Failure. Steve’s family, band members and friends are all distraught at this sudden news of his untimely death. Steve’s family request privacy at this extremely difficult time.

According to the BBC, he died following a heart attack.

Born Steven John Harrington in Wales, Strange was involved in the early U.K. punk scene, playing with members of The Clash, Adam and the Ants, The Pretenders and the Psychedelic Furs.

Strange formed Visage in 1978 with Rusty Egan and Midge Ure, then added three-fifths of Magazine (John McGeoch, Dave Formula and Barry Adamson). They released their first single in 1979, then hit it big with “Fade to Grey” in early 1981.

With Egan, Strange became key hosts at the Blitz club in London during the height of the New Romantic movement.  Strange also appeared in David Bowie’s “Ashes to Ashes” video, itself, at least in a fashion sense, a major New Romantic signpost.

In recent years, Strange had reactivated Visage, releasing Hearts & Knives, the band’s first new album in 29 years, in 2013. That was followed last year by an album of orchestral reworkings of the band’s catalog.

Below, check out the video for Visage’s “Fade to Grey.”

 

 

As news spread, some of Strange’s friends and contemporaries offered their condolences:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 Comments

  1. Waking up in shock to this news.
    Very saddened to hear this…
    Too young to die, so glad he got to make some new music before he left this mortal coil.

  2. Shocked. Hearts & Knives is fantastic. I share 5D’s sentiments.

    + RIP Steve Strange +

  3. duncan fairbrother

    Fade to grey was the sound of the 80’s. Steve Strange’s voice was the voice of the new romantic era. I am very sad that another musical hero has gone – and so so young too.

  4. Anvil was one of the best releases of the early 80’s, loved the band. RIP good sir.

  5. Very sad to hear this. He was a pioneer of not only the New Romantic scene, but of electronic music itself. He leaves behind a legacy of classic 80s hits and his impressive recent work. Steve, you will be missed but always remembered.

  6. This is awful news!
    He just released Hearts and Knives it seems – really the man that started the New Romantic movement. So sad. And far too young.

    RIP Steve.

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