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Pete Burns of Dead Or Alive Has Died

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Pete Burns, who fronted the ’80s hit-making Liverpudlian juggernaut Dead Or Alive has died.

The cause of death has been attributed to a massive cardiac arrest.

Burns was 57.

Although in 1977 Burns was in a short-lived band with Pete Wylie and Julian Cope called The Mystery Girls, after their dissolution Burns moved even more towards a whirling blend of Goth and post-punk. His new outfit was dubbed Nightmares in Wax and they were quickly re-named Dead Or Alive.

Signed to Epic after Top Ten indie chart success, Dead Or Alive’s debut Sophisticated Boom Boom not only spawned a Top 40 single, the album also featured Wayne Hussey who not only played guitar, he wrote a lot of the album’s material. Hussey would leave the band shortly before the record’s release to form The Mission U.K.

On the strength of the #1 UK single “You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)” 1985’s Youthquake became the band’s breakout album, also yielding three Top 30 singles in the UK.

Although the 1986 follow up Mad, Bad and Dangerous To Know hit #52 in the U.S. and went Top 30 in the UK, it didn’t have the staying power to match it’s predecessor, despite containing the hit “Brand New Lover.”

Dead Or Alive would form and re-form over the years, with unrecognizable line-ups and a constantly shifting rotation of players.

Meanwhile, Burns, who was a confessed lover of plastic surgery, had become over the years rather unrecognizable himself. Although it’s not clear how many procedures he underwent, he had lip injections, cheek implants, nose reconstructions and other operations to modify his looks. The lithe, androgynous, eye patch-wearing Don Juan of the ’80s had, by the end of the ’90s, transformed into a startlingly different person.

Upon hearing the news of his death, Culture Club’s Boy George took to social media to pay his respects, where he declared Burns was “one of our great true eccentrics.”

Edsel is set to release a staggeringly comprehensive and essential collection titled Sophisticated Boom Box MMXVI later this month. It will contain all of Dead Or Alive’s recorded output from 1983-2010.