Leigh's Pete Shelley - lead singer of Buzzcocks - dies aged 63

Pete Shelley
Pete Shelley

Leigh-born Pete Shelley, the lead singer and guitarist in revered punk band Buzzcocks, has died of a suspected heart attack tonight at the age of 63.

Formed in 1975, with Howard Devoto, Buzzcocks wrote two of the genre's most recognisable songs Ever Fallen In Love and What Do I Get.

According to the BBC, their management said Shelley died on Thursday in Estonia where he was living.

The band's official Twitter account wrote: "It's with great sadness that we confirm the death of Pete Shelley, one of the UK's most influential and prolific songwriters and co-founder of the seminal original punk band Buzzcocks."

Tributes began to pour in tonight to the Manchester music scene legend.

The Charlatans' lead singer Tim Burgess said: "Farewell Pete Shelley. The first album I ever owned was Love Bites By Buzzcocks. Pete wrote perfect three minute pop songs. The soundtrack to being a teenager. You’ll be missed Pete but you’ll be remembered for a long long time for your brilliant music"

Everything But The Girl's Tracy Thorn said: "Oh God but I loved Buzzcocks. And Pete Shelley was an amazing songwriter. "But after all life's only death's recompense." RIP"

Author Neil Gaiman said: "Part of my youth dies with him. RIP Pete Shelley"

Author and musician John Robb said: "Pete Shelley : one of the greatest Britsh songwriters and key figure in punk rock and one of nicest musicians we have ever met RIP. God bless you Pete and thanks for everything."

Born in Milton Street, Leigh, Shelley founded the Buzzcocks in 1975 at Bolton Tech.

The band played one of punk's most famous gigs with The Sex Pistols at Manchester's Free Trade hall in 1976. They released four albums before splitting in 1981.

Shelley released several albums as a solo artist but the Buzzcocks reformed in 1989 and had continued to tour and record.