LONDON — Pete Burns, singer with the British band Dead or Alive that had success in the 1980s, has died after suffering a heart attack. He was 57.
The singer’s management and family said in a statement that Burns died suddenly on Sunday.
He was best known for his 1985 dance hit “You Spin Me Round” and his appearances on reality TV shows including “Celebrity Big Brother” and “Celebrity Wife Swap.” Burns became famous in the 1980s when Dead or Alive attracted wide attention with a string of successful singles.
Culture Club singer Boy George, and others paid tribute to Burns Tuesday. Boy George tweeted that he was “tearful” about Burns’ sudden death.
“He was one of our great true eccentrics and such a big part of my life! Wow. Hard to believe!” Boy George said.
Many others who had worked with Burns expressed sadness at the loss and admiration for his musical gifts.
Burns was born in northwestern England and started making changes to his appearance at an early age. He was known for extensive cosmetic surgery that radically altered his look.
He worked in a record shop as a teenager and formed several bands that were unable to score any breakthrough hits. That changed with the founding of Dead or Alive in 1985.
Burns was married to Lynne Corlett for more than 25 years until they divorced in 2006. Michael Simpson has been his partner since 2007.
His ex-wife, his partner and his manager all announced Burns’ death in a statement, calling him “a beautifully talented soul” who will be missed by all who loved him and appreciated his work.