Pete Burns, the charismatic vocalist of the band Dead or Alive, died on Sunday after suffering a massive heart attack. He was 57.
A statement was posted on Twitter this morning that read:
It is with the greatest sadness that we have to break the tragic news that out [sic] beloved Pete Burns of (Dead or Alive), died suddenly yesterday of a massive cardiac arrest.
All of his family and friends are devastated by the loss of our special star. 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 [sic].
We have no more words, we will make a further statement when we have had a chance to come to terms with our devastating loss.
He will live forever in our memories
Sending you all our love.
X Lynne, Michael, Steve X
Steve Coy – Manager – Dead or Alive
Burns was born in Bebington, Cheshire, England on August 5, 1959 to a German mother and a British father. He left school at the age of 14 and worked for a time in the Liverpool store Probe Records.
In 1977, Burns started to try his own hand in music with the local band Mystery Girls with Julian Cope, Pete Wylie and Phil Hurst. Their career ended after one show.
Two years later, Burns started his next band, Nightmares in Wax which released just one EP before changing their name to Dead or Alive. The new group recorded a number of singles, some of which made it to the lower depths of the British top 100, before hitting it big in 1984 with You Spin Me Round (Like a Record) which topped the U.K., Canadian and Swiss charts and peaked at 11 on the U.S. Hot 100.
While they never reached that height again in their native Britain, they did manage to put together a string of five more top forty songs while occasionally also scoring well in other countries like Switzerland (Lover Come Back to Me (1985 / #5 Switzerland)) and the United States (Brand New Love / 1986 / #15 Pop / #1 Dance), Come Home With Me Baby (1989 / #69 Pop / #1 Dance)).
In 2006, Burns became a contestant on Celebrity Big Brother 2006, coming in fifth and he went on to build a reality TV career with additional appearances on shows like Celebrity Wife Swap.
He also tried for a solo career with 2010’s Never Marry an Icon.
Burns underwent numerous rounds of plastic surgery to enhance his androgynous look including a failed lip surgery in 2006 that led to litigation.
Pete was married to Lynne Corlett from 1980 to 2006. Soon after his divorce he married Michael Simpson.