His death is being reported as due to complications from diabetes.
Shawn Smith, singer for Seattle alt-rock band Brad, has died, aged 53.
Hailing from Seattle in the early 90s, Smith was best known as the singer of Brad, the alt-rock band which also counted Pearl Jam’s Stone Gossard and drummer Regan Hagar as members. He also released music under the solo moniker Satchel and was a member of both Pigeonhed and The Twilight Singers.
Brad released five full-length albums between 1993 and 2012, including 1993’s ‘Shame’, which was recorded in 20 days and was instantly critically acclaimed, 1997’s ‘Interiors’, an album that featured contributions from Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready, and 2002’s ‘Welcome to Discovery Park’. Brad’s most recent album was 2012’s ‘United We Stand’.
Reportedly passing away on April 5th, a date that has become synonymous with Seattle’s music scene – and not in a good way – Smith’s death shares its date with the death of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, who passed away April 5 1994, and Alice in Chains singer Layne Staley, who died April 5 2002.
Paying tribute to Smith, several fans and musicians have taken to social media.
“The gentlest of gentle souls, with a voice that came from the deepest regions of the spirit, I hope he finds peace and rest on his soul’s onward journey,” wrote Ken Stringfellow via Facebook.
“God speed to our friend Shawn Smith. One of the great Seattle voices. Rest In Peace Brotherman,” added Mike Inez on Instagram.
“Absolutely heartbroken about Shawn Smith right now,” said Music Week’s George Garner. “We have just lost one of the greatest singers and songwriters.” Another Twitter user simply added: “Gutted,” posting a picture of Smith.
One fan recalled seeing Smith sing a cover of ‘Purple Rain’ by Prince, one of the Brad singer’s favourite artists. “I feel so lucky that I got to see Shawn Smith sing purple rain at the 99 blues club,” she wrote. “Your voice will be missed.”