Mark E. Smith, lead singer and main force behind prolific post-punk band The Fall, has died, according to a statement from the band. He was 60.
On Wednesday, The Fall’s manager, Pam Van Damned, posted a statement on Facebook confirming the sad and unexpected news. “It is with deep regret that we announce the passing of Mark E. Smith,” the statement reads. “He passed this morning at home. A more detailed statement will follow in the next few days.”
The Fall released a new singles collection in late 2017, but were recently forced to cancel a string of U.S. tour dates after Smith was hospitalized.
Born in 1957 and raised in Prestwich, Greater Manchester, England, Mark E. Smith formed the Fall in 1976 after attending a Sex Pistols gig and dropping out of college. The band’s lineup changed many times throughout their 40+ year history, but Smith maintained his role as creative mastermind. Known for his impossibly clever, literary-inspired lyrics and unrestrained vocal style, Smith was an iconic and prolific frontman, producing almost an album a year since the Fall’s debut, Live at the Witch Trials, in 1979.