Fans and famous friends are paying tribute to Pete Burns on social media.
His family announced this afternoon (October 23) that the Dead Or Alive frontman passed away after suffering a “massive cardiac arrest”. He was 57 years old.
In a lengthy post on Instagram, Scissor Sisters frontman Jake Shears said of Burns: “You always elevated a room, whether in person or on the speakers..”
View this post on Instagram
What a true original, a treasure of a human being. Pete Burns was so talented, funny and kind. Brash and bold. "You either ride the wave or it'll just swallow you up. Ride the wave, babe." Some of my favorite advice anyone's given me. I feel so fortunate to have had the pleasure of sharing the stage and many laughs with this true rock star… you will be absolutely missed, Pete. Thank you for the tunes and the fun times. You always elevated a room, whether in person or on the speakers..
Politician George Galloway, who famously appeared alongside the singer on Celebrity Big Brother in 2006, wrote: “He was a cross between Oscar Wilde and Dorothy Parker. You don’t get more brilliant than that.”
Sad to hear of the demise of Pete Burns. He was a cross between Oscar Wilde and Dorothy Parker. You don't get more brilliant than that. RIP
— George Galloway (@georgegalloway) October 24, 2016
The show’s presenter Davina McCall said she was “so so so sad” to hear news of Burns’ passing, adding: “We partied hard in the 90s.”
So so sad to hear about Pete Burns … we partied hard in the 90s … RIP Pete x
— Davina McCall (@ThisisDavina) October 24, 2016
Another of Burns’ Celebrity Big Brother housemates, Ordinary Boys singer Samuel Preston, hailed the late singer as a “true punk rocker”.
Heartbroken to hear about Pete Burns. He was a true punk rocker and one of the kindest hearts I've ever know. Gutted. ?
— Preston (@samuelpreston) October 24, 2016
Meanwhile, Boy George said he is “heartbroken” and called Burns “one of our great true eccentrics”.
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!
— Boy George (@BoyGeorge) October 24, 2016
Radio and TV presenter Jamie East called him “a true pop icon and a really, really fun fella to work and hang out with”. Fellow ’80s pop star Sinitta said “we had some laughs and some tears over the years”, adding: “You were a sensitive soul and will be missed.”
Rest in Peace @PeteBurnsICON we had some laughs and some tears over the years .you were a sensitive soul and will be missed x
— Sinitta 19 (@sinittaofficial) October 24, 2016
Rylan Clark-Neal, presenter of Big Brother’s Bit On The Side, a show Burns appeared on regularly in recent years, said it was “such an honour to spin right round with you”.
Absolutely gutted. Such an honour to spin right round with you. Sleep well Pete xxx pic.twitter.com/oqgrRJAqPO
— Rylan Clark-Neal (@Rylan) October 24, 2016
Author and activist Owen Jones and Ru Paul’s Drag Race judge Michelle Visage also reacted sadly to the news.
And 2016 swoops in and takes another one. RIP Pete Burns. pic.twitter.com/FgtbtnjGgh
— Owen REGISTER TO VOTE Jones? (@OwenJones84) October 24, 2016
Meanwhile, some fans have been sharing pictures of his legendary 1985 Smash Hits interview with Morrissey.
Part of the Morrissey and Pete Burns interview from Smash Hits 1985 pic.twitter.com/MKI62u3wFv
— SmithsMoz Cuttings (@c_smithsmoz) October 24, 2016
Burns rose to fame as the frontman of ’80s pop band Dead Or Alive, who notched up Top 20 hits with ‘Lover Come Back To Me’, ‘In Too Deep’ and ‘Something In My House’.
However, their best-known song by far was ‘You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)’, which made Number One in March 1985 after a 17-week climb to the top of the charts. It was the first Number One single produced by the Stock Aitken Waterman “hit factory” who would go on to dominate British pop later in the decade.
It became a Top Five hit again in 2006 after Burns appeared on Celebrity Big Brother, where he finished fifth.
Celebrity Big Brother gave Burns, who was known for his sharp tongue, flamboyant dress sense and love of cosmetic surgery, a second career as a popular and often caustic TV personality.