Kim Shattuck, The Muffs’ frontwoman and former Pixies bassist, dies at 56

Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong, Silversun Pickups and others have paid tribute

The Muffs’ singer, guitarist and former Pixies bassist Kim Shattuck, has died after a two-year-long battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). She was 56.

Shattuck’s husband, Kevin Sutherland, confirmed the news on his private Instagram account on Wednesday (October 2), Rolling Stone reports. “This morning, the love of my life passed peacefully in her sleep after a two-year struggle with ALS,” Sutherland wrote. “I am the man I am today because of her. She will live with all of us through her music, our shared memories and in her fierce, creative spirit.”

Melanie Vammen, Shattuck’s longtime collaborator and former bandmate in The Muffs and the Pandoras, shared Sutherland’s post, adding that her “heart is forever broken” by the news. 

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My heart is forever broken

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Ronnie Barnett and Roy McDonald from The Muffs also paid tribute to Shattuck, describing the singer as a “dear friend” and “brilliant songwriter”.

“Kim was a true force of nature,” they wrote in a Facebook statement. “While battling ALS Kim produced our last album, overseeing every part of the record from tracking to artwork. She was our best friend and playing her songs was an honor. Goodbye Kimba.”

The Pixies also said they were “devastated” by Kim’s passing. “She was a genuine musician, writer and performer who committed her life for the cause,” they wrote on Twitter.

“She brought all of her life force to her endeavors and we are fortunate for her sharing some of that life force with us. RIP.”

The Muffs were due to deliver a new album later this month. ‘No Holiday’, their first new album in five years, was scheduled for release October 18. 

Shattuck began her music career as a member of The Pandoras before she left the group in 1990 to form The Muffs a year later with Pandoras bandmate Vammen. The Muffs released their self-titled debut album in 1993, and later went on hiatus after releasing their 2004 LP ‘Really Really Happy’. They reunited in 2014 for their sixth studio album, ‘Whoop Dee Doo’. 

Besides from fronting The Muffs, Shattuck was also a member of The Beards and The Coolies. In 2013, she had a brief stint as the Pixies’ bassist, joining the group for their European tour following Kim Deal’s exit. She parted ways with the band in November 2013.

Following news of Shattuck’s death, musicians and fans have taken to social media to pay tribute, including Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong, who called Shattuck “one of my favourite songwriters”.

“When [Green Day] recorded ‘Dookie’ we listened to the first Muffs record constantly. We will hear that rock n roll scream from heaven,” Armstrong wrote on Instagram.

Read other tributes to Shattuck below.