STEVE Bronski, co-founder of the 1980s pop group Bronski Beat, has died at the age of 61.
The keyboardist from Glasgow, was born Steve Forrest, and formed the group in 1983 with singer Jimmy Somerville and fellow-musician Larry Steinbachek.
Who was Steve Bronski?
Steve, formally known as Steve Forrest, was born on February 7, 1960 and was raised in Castlemilk, Glasgow.
Alongside his bandmates, Steve was outwardly gay, and the trio sought to counter what they perceived as the inoffensive nature of the era’s gay performers through their music.
The band formed in 1983, with the trio sharing a flat in Brixton, London and secured a record deal in 1984 after just nine live gigs.
America’s Spin magazine described them as “perhaps the first real gay group in the history of pop”.
Bronski Beat’s debut single, 1984’s Smalltown Boy, peaked at number 3 in the UK charts.
Somerville left the band in summer 1985 owing to tensions within the group, and Steinbachek died in December 2016, shortly after being diagnosed with cancer.
In 2017, Bronski continued his campaigning for the trans community by revamping The Age of Consent to the newly titled The Age of Reason.
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He told Pennyblack Music: “The trans community should not live in fear, and gay kids should not be bullied.
"We have come a long way, but there is still a long way to go.”
What was Steve Bronski's cause of death?
An official cause of death has not been released.
Somerville announced the death of Bronski on Twitter with an image of the three former bandmates.
His tweet reads: "Sad to hear Steve 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."
What tributes have been paid?
Tributes have begun pouring in from fans following the announcement of his tragic death.
One fan wrote on Twitter: "Just heard that Steve Bronski has passed away. Very sad news. Thinking of fellow fans, friends and family. Bronski Beat were a fabulous band whose legacy will last."
Another said: "Sorry to hear of the passing of Steve ‘Bronski’ Forrest a founding member of #BronskiBeat. For the Smalltown Boy in all of us, you will be missed."
One twitter user said they still play all of their songs: "Oh such sad news. My thoughts are with you and all his loved ones – I still play all the songs"
Bronski's friend Josephine Samuel told BBC News he was a "gentle, kind and talented man."
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