Cockney Rebel’s Singer Steve Harley Passed Away At 73

Cockney Rebel’s Singer Steve Harley Passed Away At 73 | Society Of Rock Videos

via Chrysalis Records / Youtube

Steve Harley, renowned for his role as the lead singer of the British glam rock band Cockney Rebel, has died at the age of 73, as confirmed by his family.

Born Stephen Malcolm Ronald Nice, Harley had been actively engaged in his musical endeavors until his recent touring plans were halted due to a cancer diagnosis, which he disclosed in December.

In a heartfelt statement shared on social media, his family expressed their devastation, revealing that Harley passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by loved ones. They highlighted:

“The birdsong from his woodland that he loved so much was singing for him. His home has been filled with the sounds and laughter of his four grandchildren.”

Describing Harley’s essence, the statement continued with:

“Whoever you know him as, his heart exuded only core elements. Passion, kindness, generosity. And much more, in abundance. We know he will be desperately missed by people all over the world, and we ask that you respectfully allow us privacy to grieve.”

Chart-Toppers and Reflections

Cockney Rebel, active from 1972 to 1977, experienced brief reunion periods before making a permanent comeback in 1996, largely functioning as Harley’s solo venture. Their chart-topping hit “Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)” was accompanied by other successful tracks like “Judy Teen,” “Mr. Soft,” and a cover of the Beatles’ classic “Here Comes the Sun.”

Reflecting on his musical influences, Harley, who battled polio in his childhood, credited artists like Bob Dylan for inspiring his love for words and songwriting. He acknowledged Dylan’s profound impact on him, recognizing the power of poetic expression in music.

Acknowledging his reputation for being “difficult to work with,” Harley reminisced about the recording process of “Make Me Smile” and its subsequent success. He emphasized the importance of a strong song as the foundation for a memorable track, highlighting the intricate balance of elements required to create a timeless piece of music.

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