Photo: johnrobertsheperd

Bronski Beat Founder Steve Bronski: Dead At 61

Made public in a social media post by the band’s lead singer, Jimmy Somerville, the founding member of the Bronski Beat, Steve Bronski, has died at the age of 61.

According to Somerville: “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. Jimmy x”

‘Smalltown Boy,’ the UK group’s biggest hit peaked at #3 on the British charts in 1984. An ode to a young gay man heading off for the big city, the song’s video showed Jimmy suffering a homophobic attack, reflecting the issues surrounding the all-Gay member act.

In 2018 Steve told The Guardian: “At the time we were just three gay guys who started a band. We didn’t feel like part of any particular movement. Of course, it would transpire many years later that there were more gay artists than the public were led to believe.”

The three members of Bronski Beat (including Larry Steinbachek who died of cancer aged 56 in 2017) campaigned on gay rights issues, with their debut album ‘The Age of Consent’ that featured the consent age of men in countries around world on its inner sleeve as a protest.

In addition to ‘Smalltown Boy’, the trio had Top 10 hits with ‘Why?’ as well as a cover of Donna Summer’s classic ‘I Feel Love.’ Following their debut LP the band were joined by Ian Donaldson and went on to release three more full length before disbanding in 1995.

Following the Bronski Beat break up, Somerville joined The Communards before the original line-up reunited for a final album in 2016 titled ‘The Age of Reason’.

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Author: Saul Goode

Photo: johnrobertsheperd