Pete Burns, lead singer of the Eighties goth new wave band Dead or Alive and their smash “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record),” died Sunday after suffering cardiac arrest, his management said Monday. Burns was 57.
Boy George, who weathered comparisons both musically and stylistically to Burns, tweeted of the Dead or Alive singer, “Tearful about the passing of @PeteBurnsICON he was one of our great true eccentrics and such a big part of my life! Wow. Hard to believe!”
The androgynous Burns, who began cross-dressing as a six-year-old, emerged in the late Seventies as a member of the goth band Nightmares in Wax, which released their lone EP Birth of a Nation, highlighted by the single “Black Leather,” in 1979 before adopting the name Dead or Alive.
After a string of singles, including “The Stranger,” Dead or Alive released their debut album Sophisticated Boom Boom in 1984, with the band transforming KC and the Sunshine Band’s “That’s the Way (I Like It)” into an unlikely hit.