Mark E Smith, founder and frontman of post-punk legends The Fall, has died at the age of 60.
The news was announced in a short statement by The Fall’s manager Pam Vander via the Fall News Twitter feed and on Cherry Red Records’ social media channels.
She wrote: “The day I’ve been dreading. It is with deep regret that we announce the passing of Mark E Smith.
“He passed this morning at home. A more detailed statement will follow in the next few days. In the meantime, Pam and Mark’s family request privacy at this sad time.”
The Fall had cancelled gigs in London and Bristol late last year as Smith suffered from respiratory problems, while earlier shows in Portugal and The US had been cancelled after the singer had been declared unfit to fly.
Smith formed The Fall in 1976 and had been the one constant member of an ever-changing lineup. The influential UK outfit released a total of 32 albums, kicking off their career with 1979’s Live At The Witch Trials. Their last release was 2017’s New Facts Emerge.
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Tributes have begun to come in from the music world, with BBC Radio 6 Music DJ and former Kenickie guitarist Lauren Laverne saying: “Oh man. Mark E Smith. One of my biggest heroes. Had a nightmare interviewing him – of course – but then he put me in a song.
“So sharp, clever and untouchably cool. Thanks for the music, MES.”
Pete Wylie added: “Very sad to hear the news about Mark E Smith. Known him a long time and had the usual mixture of madness and monkey business with him.
“Love The Fall. So many tales. Thoughts are with family, friends, fans, and Fall members past and present. RIP.”
Tim Burgess of The Charlatans called Smith “a true uncompromising musical maverick” adding: “A genius, a curmudgeon and someone whose company it was an honour to share. So long M.E.S.”