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:
I'm very sad to announce that our friend Steve Strange has died in Egypt today. He was the leading edge of New Romantic. God Bless him.
— Simon Le Bon (@SimonJCLeBON) February 12, 2015
Some sad news today. Our condolences to Steve Strange's family and friends. 55 is far, far too young. http://t.co/xeXhfup1vr
— Ultravox (@UltravoxUK) February 12, 2015
Very sad to hear of my friend Steve Strange @Stevevisstrange passing, RIP mate…..
— Billy Idol (@BillyIdol) February 12, 2015
Very sad about the untimely death of Steve Strange – he was a gentle and respectful friend
— martynware (@martynware) February 12, 2015
Sad to hear of old chum, Steve Strange's untimely passing. 55 – too young by far…
— Glen Matlock (@GlenMatlock) February 12, 2015