Reports suggest Steve Bronski may have died after fire at his flat

There’s no official word on the cause of death for Bronski Beat founder Steve Bronski, but a friend has told The Guardian that the 80’s pop star died after there was a fire in his Soho flat.

News that Bronski had passed away surfaced last week after former band mate Jimmy Somerville posted a tribute online, now a friend of Bronski has revealed his death was due to a fire in his London flat.

Singer Josephine Samuel told the newspaper that she had been visiting Bronski regularly and had seen him just the previous day. She said “Because he had suffered a stroke, it was difficult for him to get up. He died from smoke inhalation.”

The gospel singer shared that they had been friends for many years and she’d by his side as he faced challenges in recent years.

“I remember him as gentle, quiet and kind, and a talented musician. I was mentioned in some of the songs he wrote but never released.

“I cared for him all through his difficult time – about three years ago he suffered a stroke. I counselled him through depression. He treated me like a sister and I treated him as an older brother. We were very close.”

Samuel said Brosnki would be burried in Scotland.

“I came to visit him the day before he died. His death is like a nightmare to me, because I’ve been by his side for years. We are waiting to register the death before his body is taken to Scotland for burial.”

The police and fire brigade have confirmed a man who was rescued from the flat had later died in hospital. The said the fire was being treated as “non-suspicious”.

Bronski was 61 years old. He was born in Glasgow and moved to London where he founded the pop band Bronski Beat alongside Larry Steinbachek and singer Jimmy Sommerville.

Their music, which was filled with lyrics about gay rights and battling homophobia, was ground breaking at the time of its release.

The group scored a succession of hits with Smalltown BoyWhy and their cover of It Ain’t Necessarily So. They also teamed up with Soft Cell singer Marc Almond to cover the Donna Summer hit I Feel Love.

Their debut album Age of Consent highlighted on its cover the different ages gay men were allowed to have sex in different countries, and engraved into the vinyl was the number for London’s Gay and Lesbian Switchboard helpline.

The band famously played a benefit gig to aid the Lesbians and Gays support the Miners campaign, which is dramatised in the feature film Pride.

In 1985 lead singer Jimmy Somerville quit the band and formed The Communards with Richard Coles, who had been playing saxophone with the band.

After Somerville’s departure Bronski Beat continued on with a new singer Jon Foster who performed under the name Jon Jon.

The band’s second album Truth Dare, Double Dare featured the energetic song Hit That Perfect Beat, which was followed up by the equally boisterous C’mon C’mon. Bronski Beat continued recording into the 90s and featured a variety of singers including Jonathan Hellyer.

They also teamed up with Eartha Kitt to record the song Cha Cha Heels, a song they had originally penned for drag performer Divine – who passed away before being able to record the song.

After Bronski Beat stopped recording music Bronski lived in Thailand for many years and also spent time in Paris, before returning to live in central London.

OIP Staff

You can support our work by subscribing to our Patreon
or contributing to our GoFundMe campaign.




Tags: ,