Buzzcocks Frontman Pete Shelley Dead at 63

(Image credit: Tony Woolliscroft/WireImage)

Buzzcocks frontman and co-founder Pete Shelley has died at the age of 63. The band's management informed the BBC that Shelley passed away today, December 6, in Estonia, where he had been living. The suspected cause of death is a heart attack.

Born Peter Campbell McNeish in Lancashire, England, Shelley formed Buzzcocks in the mid 1970s with Howard Devoto, who was the band’s original frontman. Buzzcocks made their debut opening for the Sex Pistols in Manchester in July, 1976, and released their first recording, the four-track Spiral Scratch EP, in January, 1977. Devoto departed soon after, and Shelley assumed the frontman role. The band subsequently released three full-length albums before breaking up in 1981, after which Shelley began a solo career. Buzzcocks also reunited several times in the ensuing decades; their most recent album was 2014’s The Way.

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.