The punk legend died of a suspected heart attack.
Shelley was a founding member of the band, which he formed in Bolton with singer-songwriter Howard Devoto in 1976. In 1977 they released their debut EP, Spiral Scratch.
The band released three albums and the legendary singles compilation, Singles Going Steady, before they broke up in 1981. Shelley went on to release a number of solo albums before The Buzzcocks reunited in 1989.
Artists including Belle and Sebastian’s Stuart Murdoch, Joy Division and New Order bassist Peter Hook, filmmaker Edgar Wright and writer Neil Gaiman have paid tribute to the late punk icon.
— stuart murdoch (@nee_massey) December 6, 2018
Pete Shelley – a true gent!
He helped us so much at the start of our career out of a sheer love for all things punk. Without Pete & the Buzzcocks I would probably still be working at the Docks. RIP mate. X
— Peter Hook (@peterhook) December 6, 2018
This compilation of Buzzcocks singles is one of my favourite albums. It’s 48 minutes of pure punk bliss. You couldn’t ask for a finer run of 45’s. Please give it a spin right now and remember the huge talent in music that was singer and writer Pete Shelley. He will be missed. pic.twitter.com/nxkyxxJZ9s
— edgarwright (@edgarwright) December 7, 2018
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) December 6, 2018
Read next: The 100 best albums of the 1970s
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Author: Henry Bruce-Jones