Dead or Alive singer Pete Burns dies of cardiac arrest at 57
Management releases statement confirming death of Celebrity Big Brother contestant
Singer and TV star Pete Burns photographed in 2012. File photograph: Yui Mok/PA Wire
Singer Pete Burns arriving to appear in Celebrity Big Brother in 2006. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA Wire
Singer and reality TV star Pete Burns has died at the age of 57.
The Dead Or Alive singer and Celebrity Big Brother contestant died on Sunday after suffering a cardiac arrest, his management said.
A statement said: “It is with the greatest sadness that we have to break the tragic news that our 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 us with.
“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.”
He rose to fame in the 1980s with his band Dead Or Alive, known in particular for the 1985 track You Spin Me Round.
In recent years he also appeared on reality television shows such as Celebrity Big Brother, Celebrity Wife Swap and The Body Shocking Show.
Celebrities paid tribute to Burns after the news emerged.
Davina McCall, who hosted the 2006 Celebrity Big Brother series the star appeared in, was among those who tweeted their condolences.
She said: “So, so sad to hear about Pete Burns... we partied hard in the 90s... RIP Pete x.”
Preston, the Ordinary Boys frontman who also appeared in the series, tweeted: “Heartbroken to hear about Pete Burns. He was a true punk rocker and one of the kindest hearts I’ve ever know. Gutted.”
Sending love and condolences to the family of Pete Burns RIP so sad— Robbie Coltrane OBE (@RColtraneOBE) October 24, 2016
RIP Pete Burns One of the greats has gone— Martin Fry (@ABCFRY) October 24, 2016
Former Ultravox singer Midge Ure said: “We were with the same management back in the day. RIP.”
Television presenter Jamie East said: “So desperately sad to hear about Pete Burns. A true pop icon and a really, really fun fella to work and hang out with. Sleep well buddy.”
DJ Matthew Rudd said: “Pete Burns’ death is tragic. A showman. Angry, engaging, opinionated, fiery singer, great stage presence, clearly vulnerable. RIP fella.”
Singer Sinitta wrote: “Rest in Peace PeteBurns ICON we had some laughs and some tears over the years. You were a sensitive soul and will be missed x.”
Known for a non-conformist style, Burns was considered a pop icon.
He was born in Cheshire on August 5th, 1959, to a Liverpudlian father and a German mother who was a survivor of the Holocaust.
Burns said he had an unusual and solitary childhood, but that he was very close to his mother.
When discussing their relationship on television programme Psychic Therapy, he said: “She called me Star Baby and she knew that there was something special in me.”
He left school at 14 and later started working in a record shop, which led to him joining his first band, The Mystery Girls.
They recorded music but did not manage to make a real impact until they changed their name to Dead Or Alive in 1980.
The band had hits with singles including You Spin Me Round (Like A Record) - which went to number one in the UK - Love Come Back To Me and Something In My House.
They enjoyed three Top 30 UK albums - Sophisticated Boom Boom, Youthquake and Mad, Bad, And Dangerous To Know.
You Spin Me Round (Like A Record) was rereleased in 2006 after Burns appeared on Celebrity Big Brother, but he admitted he felt uncomfortable with it being revived.
“It’s like still wearing a school uniform when you’re 50,” he told McCall after leaving the house.
Burns later launched a solo career, but did not achieve the same sort of mainstream success he had enjoyed with the band.
His last solo single, Never Marry An Icon, was released in 2010.
He was known for undergoing cosmetic surgery procedures and changing his image, and during an appearance on Celebrity Botched Up Bodies just last month he said he had had over 300 procedures on his face.
He was always unapologetic about his stance on plastic surgery, saying in an interview in 2011: “It’s something I’ll always do.”
‘A new sofa’
He added: “People redecorate their homes every few years and I see this as no different. Changing my face is like buying a new sofa.”
He was known for his androgynous style and told The Guardian in 2007: “Everyone’s in drag of some sorts, I don’t give a f*** about gender and drag. I’m not trying to be a girl by putting on a dress - gender is separated by fabric.
“I was brought up with an incredible amount of freedom and creativity. Society has put certain constraints on things.”
The pair remained close after the split and Corlett has been quoted as saying they were “soul mates”.
Burns went on to get engaged to Michael Simpson and they tied the knot in 2007, with the singer dressed as a geisha.