Pete Burns, the lead singer of ’80s British pop band Dead Or Alive, has died. His management team confirmed the news on Twitter, explaining that he died over the weekend from a “massive cardiac arrest.” The statement from Burns’ management team refers to him as a “true visionary” and a “beautiful and talented soul,” adding that he will be “missed by all who loved and appreciated everything he was.” Burns was 57.
— Pete Burns (@PeteBurnsICON) October 24, 2016
CNN explains that Burns got his start in the music industry while working at a Liverpool record store in 1979. The place became a meeting spot for musicians in the area, and Burns formed a band initially called Nightmares In Wax. They later changed the name to Dead Or Alive, and in 1985 the band had a huge hit on its hands with “You Spin Me Round (Like A Record).” The song would go on to become one of the most iconic tracks of the ’80s, thanks in part to Burns’ memorable style in the video. (Purple tunics and eyepatches will always look cool in music videos.)
While people in America primarily know Burns as the singer for Dead Or Alive, he became a relatively controversial pop culture figure in England. Burns appeared on shows like Celebrity Big Brother and drew a lot of attention for his wildly changing appearance, which he attributed to a self-professed love for plastic surgery.
Some people who knew Burns expressed their condolences on Twitter:
Burns is survived by his partner Michael Simpson.