Mark Stewart, former frontman of the experimental rock band The Pop Group, has passed away at the age of 62.
The news was announced by his label, Mute, on Friday, April 21st. The label requested privacy for Stewart’s family and friends during this difficult time.
“We’ve lost such a dear friend, please respect the privacy of Mark’s Family and friends at this time.” Mute tweeted on Friday.
No cause of death has been given yet.
Stewart co-founded The Pop Group as a teenager in Bristol, England in 1977. The band consisted of Stewart as vocalist, John Waddington and Gareth Sager on guitar and saxophone respectively, Simon Underwood on bass, and Bruce Smith on drums.
The group’s debut album, Y, was released the same year and produced by reggae artist Dennis Bovell. It was a groundbreaking work that infused their experimental rock with anti-establishment politics, and drew from a variety of genres including dub, proto-punk, and funk.
After The Pop Group disbanded in 1980, Stewart worked on several solo albums and collaborated with various artists, including Massive Attack, Tricky, Chicks on Speed, and Nine Inch Nails.
He also had a career as a conceptual artist. Stewart worked with dub producer Adrian Sherwood on his 1983 album Learning to Cope With Cowardice and other works.
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The Pop Group reformed for a concert tour in 2010, leading to two more albums from the band, Citizen Zombie in 2015 and Honeymoon on Mars in 2017. Stewart’s last album was Vs, a collaborative project released in 2022.
Mute issued a statement in honour of Stewart, describing him as an “original, fearless, sensitive, artistic, and funny man” who had a profound impact on the world. They urged people to “think for yourself and question everything.”
Mark Stewart was born on January 20, 1958, in Bristol, England. Stewart was married to a woman named Rachel, and they had two children together. He kept his personal life private, and not much is known about his family life beyond this.
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