Pete Shelley of pioneering British punk band Buzzcocks, dead at 63

The co-founder, singer and guitarist of the pioneering British punk band Buzzcocks, Manchester-born Pete Shelley, died Thursday at the age of 63.

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The BBC is reporting Shelley died of a suspected heart attack.

“It is 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 bank Buzzcocks,” the band said Thursday in a social media post.

The band formed in the mid-1970s and had a major impact on the punk movement, which until that point had been largely dominated by The Ramones. They released their first EP, “Spiral Scratch,” in 1977, followed by their debut album “Another Music In a Different Kitchen.”

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“Pete’s music has inspired generations of musicians over a career that spanned five decades,” the band said on Twitter. “He was held in the highest regard by the music industry and by his fans around the world.”

The band broke up in 1981 after more than a dozen singles and three full-length albums. Shelley went on to a solo career, but the group got back together in 1989 and continued performing on and off for the next 2 1/2 decades. They released a new album in 2014 and toured in 2016.

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Musician Pete Shelley of Buzzcocks perform onstage during day 2 of the 2012 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Field on April 14, 2012 in Indio, California.
Photo: Karl Walter

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