Mark E. Smith, the prolific frontman of the British post-punk rock band The Fall, died at age 60 in his home.
“It is with deep regret that we announce the passing of Mark E. Smith,” a statement provided to Fox News from The Fall’s manager, Pam Vander, reads. “He passed this morning (24 January) at home. A more detailed statement will follow in the next few days. In the meantime, Pam & Mark’s family request privacy at this sad time.”
Smith had been experiencing health issues throughout 2017 that resulted in the cancellation of a U.S. tour. He performed in the U.K. in a wheelchair last year, and his health reportedly continuned to deteriorate.
Raised by a working-class family in Prestwich in the U.K., Smith worked at a meat factory before giving it all up for music in 1976 after being inspired by the Sex Pistols.
Irascible and inimitable, Smith kept The Fall going for four decades and more than 30 albums. He was the band's only permanent member, hiring, firing and falling out with several dozen musicians along the way.
Spiky, unpredictable and poetic, the band was never a huge commercial success but had a big influence on other artists.
The band’s former drummer, Simon Wolstencroft, spoke with the BBC about Smith's lasting impression on the world of music.
"His influences travel a long, long way to bands like Pulp, and new bands now like Cabbage, and many other bands have been influenced by him,” Wolstencroft said. “It's a sad day."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.