And yet another one leaves us far too early. Pete Burns, lead singer for 80s goth new wavers Dead Or Alive, passed away yesterday after suffering cardiac arrest, according to his management. He was 57.
“It is with the greatest sadness that we have to break the tragic news that our beloved Pete Burns of (Dead Or Alive), died suddenly yesterday of a massive cardiac arrest” was the message which appeared on Burns’ Facebook page. “All of his family and friends are devastated by the loss of our special star,” the message read. “He was a true visionary, a beautiful talented soul, and he will be missed by all who loved and appreciated everything he was and all of the wonderful memories the has left is with.”
Burns gained notice in the late 70s as a member of the goth outfit Nightmares In Wax. They released their only EP Birth Of A Nation in 1979, featuring the single Black Leather, before changing their name to Dead Or Alive. After a series of singles, Dead Or Alive released their debut album Sophisticated Boom Boom in 1984, and one of the tracks, KC And The Sunshine Band‘s That’s The Way (I Like It) became a surprise hit.
That was followed by the Youthquake album, containing their biggest hit. You Spin Me Round (Like A Record) went to number one on the UK charts and number eleven on the Billboard Hot 100. It also returned to the UK charts at number five in 2006, after Burns’ infamous appearance on Celebrity Big Brother.
In later years, Burns was primarily known for his reality television work and his ever-changing appearance, rather than for his music. He underwent numerous cosmetic surgeries, sometimes with less than optimal results. “People redecorate their homes every few years and I see this as no different. Changing my face is like buying a new sofa,” he said, after a series of surgeries left him almost unrecognizable.
Burns was the only constant member of Dead Or Alive, and had been touring under the band name right up until his death.