The Smithereens frontman Pat DiNizio has died, aged 62

The band confirmed his passing in a short statement on their Facebook page, asking fans to keep him in their "thoughts and prayers"

The Smithereens frontman Pat DiNizio has died, aged 62.

The New Jersey rock band, who formed in 1980, confirmed DiNizio’s passing in a short statement on their Facebook page in which they expressed their “great sadness” at having to break news of his death to their fans.

No cause of death has been given at this time, but DiNizio had been affected by health problems in recent years. Back in 2015, he lost the use of his right hand and arm following a pair of falls which caused serious nerve damage.

DiNizio fronted The Smithereens from their inception in 1980, acting as the lead singer and principal songwriter. The four-piece earned a cult following from their 1986 debut album ‘Especially For You’, which included the breakthrough radio track ‘Blood and Roses’.

Following two more studio albums on the Enigma label, The Smithereens released two major label records: 1991’s ‘Blow Up’ (with Capitol) and 1994’s ‘A Date With The Smithereens’ (BMG).

The band took time away after the release of their 1999 album ‘God Save The Smithereens’ before regrouping to record once again in 2007. The Smithereens were still an active touring band, and had been due to play live shows next month.

DiNizio also released four solo albums – the last being 2009’s ‘Buddy Holly’ – while he also hosted a radio show dedicated to new music and once appeared on the ESPN reality show 7th Inning Stretch. He also unsuccessfully ran for the New Jersey Senate seat back in 2000.