[Photo credit: Twitter/Gay Times Mag]
In a year that has hardly been kind to the music industry, 2016 saw the loss of yet another memorable pop musician with the passing of Dead Or Alive’s Pete Burns.
Burns, who was best known for his band’s 1985 smash hit “You Spin Me Round (Like A Record),” was a notable face amongst ‘80s pop stars, and was never one to conform to the social norm.
In a statement released by Burns’ former band member and manager, Steve Coy, his partner, Michael Simpson, and his ex-wife Lynne Corlett, they had this to say of the late singer:
An iconic part of Burns’ identity was that he was willing to challenge gender ambiguity, claiming that restraints put on society were holding back people’s ability to show their true personalities. He didn’t feel as if he should be categorized as a woman for simply wearing a dress, and his famously criticized plastic surgeries were an ode to his expression.
“Everyone’s in drag of some sorts, I don’t give a fuck about gender and drag,” he told the Guardian back in 2007. “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.”
Burns grew up in Cheshire, England, where he attended a boy’s school until he was 14. He then dropped out as a result of being confronted for altering his appearance, after he dyed his hair red, shaved his eyebrows, and sported a large earing.
Burns then worked at a record store until forming Dead Or Alive in 1980, where he would collaborate with Mike Percey, Steve Coy, and Tim Lever.
The singer also made numerous other appearances thanks to his fame, including on Celebrity Big Brother in 2006, as well as on Celebrity Wife Swap and The Body Shocking Show more recently.
Burns was also notorious for his cosmetic surgery addiction, which he related to “buying a new sofa.” Ultimately, his 300 some-odd operations eventually led him to go into bankruptcy, as the consequence of a few faulty operations.
Although he was able to break through in music back in the 1980’s, Burns was never quite successful on his own in the industry. The last work released by Pete Burns came nearly seven years ago, when he released “Never Marry An Icon” back in 2010. His new album was just on the brink of coming out.
Thoughts and prayers were expressed via social media by a number of friends and fans, including the tweet below from Boy George, who Burns had once even accused of stealing his image. We here at AP also express our condolences to all those affected by his passing.
Tearful about the passing of @PeteBurnsICON he was one of our great true eccentrics and such a big part of my life! Wow. Hard to believe!— Boy George (@BoyGeorge) October 24, 2016
My heart is broken. @PeteBurnsICON taught me to own my beauty. He is such an important puzzle piece of inspiration. Thank you forever ����— Adore Delano (@AdoreDelano) October 24, 2016
Sad to hear about the passing of Pete Burns.Creator of some unforgettable tunes and a fella who didn't give a monkeys what people thought.— William Regal (@RealKingRegal) October 24, 2016
So so sad to hear about Pete Burns ... we partied hard in the 90s ... RIP Pete x— Davina McCall (@ThisisDavina) October 24, 2016