Pete Burns dies aged 57


Dead Or Alive frontman Pete Burns has died at the age of 57, it has just been announced by his management.

The singer and songwriter suffered a cardiac arrest and died on Sunday. A management statement said “All of his family and friends are devastated by the loss of our special star. He was a true visionary, a beautiful talented soul, and he will be missed by all who loved and appreciated everything he was and all of the wonderful memories the has left us with.”

Dead Or Alive will be best remembered for the 1985 UK number one You Spin Me Round (Like A Record). I spoke to Pete about a month ago about his career and the forthcoming box set Sophisticated Boom Box MMXVI [the interview will be published soon] and he was articulate, witty and generous with his time. Poignantly, when I asked him about that particular song he said “it seems to be the one that I’m going to die with, like Judy Garland died with Over the Rainbow”.

RIP Pete Burns.

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Tiziano C.

A champion of freedom died today. A hero of passion died today. You just embodied life and its many paradoxes. Your music was fun and passionate, nostalgic and meaningful.
There will not be another Pete Burns. You challenged the world and you won. But it was a one-way ticket.
Your spirit will live on. You have been a revolutionary soul. Your legend has just started to engulf our collective consciousness. This is not the end. This is the beginning.
Fan the flame.
I will always miss you, Pete. Thank you.


What a unexpected shocking “bad” news! RIP ;(


I remember buying White Riot in Probe records where Pete used to work in Liverpool……greeted with a snear and a ” Really ??? ” ….I used to wait till he was on his breaks to buy further records lol


Thank you for my favorite song of all time, even if you got tired of it its till makes me smile. Every time I hear it.



Scott H

In my previous incarnation as a BMG sales rep in the late 90s in Oz I nearly knocked Mr Burns out. I was on the way into the Blockbuster Music office to spruik my wares to the singles buyer (remember them). As I flung open the door Pete was on his way out to the signing and I nearly cleaned him up with the door. He saw the funny side and signed a CD for me. So many good song memories. A sad day indeed…


I see the eBay flippers are at it already – Penny short of £500 being asked for the signed print CD edition of the boxset so a mere £390 extra over the standard version. Same seller was asking £200 for it yesterday so reckons Pete’s death warrants another £300!


Such sad news! I was always fascinated by him, although I never heard much of his music beyond a greatest hits CD. Was very much looking forward to finally get to know his complete works with the upcoming box set. It will be bittersweet now. RIP Pete.

Larry Davis

Oh one other key thing I love about Pete & DOA…when they broke in 1985, Culture Club were huge…and I LIKE CC and Boy George…but their sound sometimes came off a drop WIMPY…well Dead Or Alive comes along with YSMR and I’m like YES…now THATs more like it!! That’s how CC should have sounded like…with more balls!!!!! RIP Pete

Larry Davis

Rip Pete…wow this was weird timing with the boxsets coming out on Friday… at least he was involved with the curating of it, writing the essay, etc…wonder if he sensed his demise was imminent and felt the pressure to put it out in time?? Seems some kinda know it was coming. Will never forget the first time I heard DOA…I was in high school in 1984 and saw “Sophisticated Boom Boom” on vinyl and it caught my attention…like “wow cool cover” and “what the hell is that??”…I was not as adventurous then and didn’t buy SBB because I didn’t know any of it then/none were hits/money was limited…cut to end of August, 1985…about to start college at SUNY Plattsburgh…driving up for my freshmen orientation from Long Island, NY…6 to 8 hour trip…I had recalled reading about “You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)” in magazines like Billboard, but hadn’t heard it yet…well the American Top 40 countdown was on and Casey Kasem is mentioning a debut by a band whose name is like a Western movie…I’m like hmmmm…then at #38 was the countdown debut of the song… after hitting #1 on the dance chart and in the UK…and my jaw hit the floor like o could not believe what I was hearing…it was like an extreme collision of hi-NRG dance pop and punk rock and one of the greatest musical experiences I ever witnessed…like the Beatles on ed Sullivan or the first ramones album or never mind the Bullock’s…I have not been the same since…I even got to see DOA live in NYC in 1995 on the Nukleopatra tour… Pete looked like Cher…now I am not a freak like Pete was BUT admired his uniqueness, bravery, fearlessness, fists-up-gusto and willingness to speak his mind eloquently while shooting someone down deservedly simultaneously…you did not want to be at odds with him…oh and his music was genius and one of the most underrated SINGERS ever….Pete was absolutely
One of a kind and his passing leaves a huge hole that may be impossible to fill…just ordered the boxset…was gonna wait for it to come out and the price to drop…with his death, that felt a bit tacky to do AND I may have had to wait for being sold out…so I ordered…fave Pete song…the utterly epic 8 minute song “It’s Been A Long Time”…feels like a buildup from “Misty Circles”, taking it to the next level…RIP Pete Burns…possibly the only Jewish Scouse gender bender musical genius that ever lived…


Tragic news that such a true original has departed at what could have been a time of real resurgence.

I’ll never forget buying the 12″ Performance Mix of You Spin Me Round in December 1984 and being stunned by its energy and production – and THAT voice. A few weeks later it finally got into the top 40 and history was made…..

I was a huge teenage fan and recently began to get excited by the prospect of the re-releases and some public outings by Pete. Sadly not to be.

If nothing else, I’d encourage any pop fan to get a copy of the ‘Youthquake’ album – it really is an 80s classic, and I’ll certainly be tuning into ‘It’s Been a Long Time’ today, and more than once.

RIP Pete – you touched many lives x


Like Prince who was my first Idol … Pete who was my second … Sad year 4 me …
Luv U Pete

David mcIntyre

2016, please just stop it. You have been a cruel, cruel year. Sleep well Pete Burns and Bobby V


I just cannot believe it.
Rest in peace Pete, you are much loved.

Pete {in Australia}

Still a bit shocked. Was reading the lastest S.D.E. bits on this week’s Box being released, and just as I had finished, Pete’s passing was starting to filter through to Australia. SPOOKY! Bit of a shock, still bit hard to take in. R.I.P. Pete, thanks for all the wonderful music.


Well, now maybe the goth/post-punk early singles will get a CD release… hope so. Definitely not a fan of the dance-pop stuff, but I guess I’d like their earlier songs, judging from the odd video on YouTube.


Mad, Bad & Dangerous to know…


Even November can’t make up for the unrelenting year this has been for musicians and actors alike. Far too many icons passing this year…..

Sadly I’m only a very new fan of DOA, but I can say I’m thoroughly impressed by what I’m hearing so far. It’s a shame there won’t be any more. RIP Pete.

Seb Sharp

Absolutely devastated to hear of Pete’s passing, this year is the worst. Thanks Pete for the amazing musical memories, your fearless style and wit. RIP.


Strange cause both died of heart attacks! What the heck they are way too young to die of that! But at least hopefully there was no suffering. So sad to hear. Thankfully I had ordered both sets a month or two ago. RIP mister!


Absolutely gutted!
This year needs to f*** off.
RIP Pete x


So,so sad,a true pop icon and a big part of my youth.Little story being from Newcastle,a friend of a friend saw them when they performed on pop show razzmatazz.Being a little kid she’d ate to many sweets and felt sick,Pete cuddled her to make her feel better.Not what you’d expect.

Michael Khalsa

Love you Pete rest in peace. You were magical.

Yani P

Was surreal when Steve Strange died as a mate of mine was in Egypt on holiday with his wife staying at the same place! Steve was sending Tweets to my Forum a day or 2 before he sadly died!


I am inconsolable. Pete Burns is one of my two ‘life icons’ whose work and career I’ve followed and loved for over 30 years. A true bona fide legend is gone just as all was set in place for his return to music. This was a man who role modelled having the courage to be yourself with no apologies in a world where men still to a large extent are confined by very narrow definitions of masculinity and identity; a man with sharp wit and keen intellect who knew his way around a killer pop hook as much as a power put down. This is a very, very, very sad day indeed. RIP Ma Burns and thanks… #peteburns #deadoralive


RIP Pete, the world will be less interesting without you. I will be enjoying your Box Set soon

Daniel ( from Berlin )

For us fans it is hard news.
For the record label it will be good.
So they have the chance now to put all the DOA albums out again and made them
“Expanded / Deluxe Editions”…
..and in the end we ( the fans ) will happy about the future releases.
( like all the wonderful “Deluxe Editions” of the Donna Summer albums + Singles Box Set ).
After Steve Strange now i lose the next icon of my youth.


Wow! Just wow! No words. Just wow. Just days before the box set is to be released….

Marcel Rijs

I only have *that* single and its follow up, ‘Lover come back to me’, but he was quite a character wasn’t he? He was perhaps more known for his cosmetic endeavours by the general public but I do appreciate that he was not afraid to be his own person and do whatever he wanted to do without fear of that very same general public. I was genuinely surprised how dynamic ‘You spin me round’ actually was when I heard it played by Kim Wilde live earlier this month and had just dug out those singles and 12″ singles from my own collection last week. It is such a weird coincidence that this box set comes out this week. 2016…. what a strange year it’s been for all of us. We’re losing too many icons people!!!


So sad to hear of his passing. A true star that had something that very few modern artists have…originality. Blessed that I will have the box set and signed photo as a fitting tribute.


what a shock ! Too young too die ! Another star has just stopped shining, this year is hard with us… :-(


RIP Pete.


Paul – your interview could well be one of the very last “interactions” we get to share with Pete. I look forward to reading it along with his essay in the Sophisticated Boom Box – but with a heavy heart. They don’t make pop stars like they used to!


In shock.
makes me do a lil smile though knowing you interviewed him Paul as I know you would have told him of all the love that was felt for him on here. that’s nice to think of. I had nearly all their albums but was not a uber fan who had everything etc, so love to those people at this dreadful time.


What a nice sentiment gb, thinking of us ‘uberfans’. DOA have been part of life since 1984 and I am absolutely shattered that Pete has gone. What a legend and what a legacy.

elliott buckingham

keep watching ebay for the death flippers


RIP Pete, much love

Justin Isbell

Sad to hear that Bobby Vee also died today (aged 73) :-(


I’m in bits and in shock. What an icon. What a legend. He spoke like a navvy and looked like a drag queen but was never afraid to be himself – more is more. And yet he was a sensitive soul. My record collection would be a far less interesting place without his output and I will miss his music, but am thankful for the legacy he left with us forever. Truly sad as we lose another 80s star. Perhaps his best lyric ever:
You saw long black hair and a ten inch waist,
You saw boys crashing motorbikes all over the place,
Lipstick sending people out of their minds,
And then you wrote down a name
And you said it was mine
It was N.U.K.L.E.O.P.A.T.R.A – Nukleopatra!


Isn’t it a Pity will remain one of my all time favourite tracks until my dying day. What a year its been. Perhaps its just a co-incidence or seems so due to ageing and people we still perceive to be the pop stars of our youth are now in their fifties and sixties

Robert Lett

RIP Pete.


It seems such a cruel blow he can’t see the success of the SDE. I hope he was aware of the joy it has given to people, did he realise that Paul during your interview?


RIP Pete Burns, one of the fabulous freaks who emerged from the late 70’s early 80’s club scene. Sadly, we may never see their like again.

John Dean-Morton

During the American tour for “Fan The Flame” I ran into his dressing room yelling “Pete, I Love YOU!!!!” I was grabbed by security and he came up to me and said “You know nothing about love, you stupid American Faggot” and slapped me across the face. It was the ultimate fan encounter.

Robert Lett

Ha! Hilarious. What city was it. RIP Pete.


Haha, this is a great comment! :-)
Thanks for You Spin Me Round, Pete, I never get tired of this song.

Billy Dojcak

Any time it comes on I have to listen all the way through.

Tyler Williams

SO SAD! And just days before his box set comes out! Too bad he won’t be able to experience his fans’ reaction to it. R.I.P.


RIP Pete. My inspiration whilst growing up. The music and legend will live on. God Bless You. Beyond sad.

Charles K

RIP indeed, very sad news.


Such shocking and sad news!

A genuine, talented and all round nice guy. I can’t claim to be a Dead Of Alive fan but I respected his talent and unique creativity.

As a small consolation, I’m glad he had time to put his box set together, bring together into one mega anthology his career spanning music. This will be his legacy.

RIP :-(


Extraordinary timing.


Absolutely shocking! RIP Pete.