Steve Bronski, co-founder and namesake of British synth-pop group Bronski Beat, has died according to a report from the BBC. He was 61.
Bronski was born Steve Forrest in Glasgow, Scotland, and formed Bronski Beat with Jimmy Somerville and Larry Steinbachek in 1983. The group made their debut at September in the Pink, a gay benefit festival, and the next year released their single “Smalltown Boy,” about a gay man leaving a small town for the big city. The song became a Top 3 hit in the UK, and was the lead single from their debut album Age of Consent, which they also released in 1984.
Somerville left the group in 1985, though Bronski and Steinbachek continued to release music as Bronski Beat throughout the ’90s. Bronski had also long been an advocate for gay and trans rights. He revived Bronski Beat in 2017 for Age of Reason, a revamp of their debut Age of Consent. That same year, Steinbachek died of cancer.
Somerville said of his former bandmate via Twitter, “Sad to hear Steve Bronski has died. He was a talented and a very melodic man. Working with him on songs and the one song that changed our lives and touched so many other lives, was a fun and exciting time. Thanks for the melody Steve.”