XL boss Richard Russell remembers “embodiment of freedom” Keith Flint: “Everyone felt included when Keith was around”

"He understood the freedom music represented to people, and how they yearned and lived for that at the end of the working week"

Producer and XL Records boss Richard Russell has remembered his friend Keith Flint, the Prodigy frontman who died at the age of 49 earlier this year, in an emotional online tribute.

“The passion Keith brought to everything was immense, and so was his kindness,” Russell, whose label released the first four Prodigy albums, said.

“He was the embodiment of countercultural values, but he was unlike many musicians who adopt a stance of rebellion, because it wasn’t a pose,” continued the producer, writing in The Observer.

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“He knew who he was. That allowed him to be relaxed and fun, and kind to people.”

Remembering his first meeting with Flint at the start of the 1990s, and witnessing his progression from The Prodigy’s dancer to one of the most revered frontmen of a generation, Russell said he “was genuinely in awe” of him when he performed live.

Keith Flint
Keith Flint of The Prodigy. CREDIT: Getty

“He understood the freedom music represented to people, and how they yearned and lived for that at the end of the working week. Keith was the embodiment of that feeling of freedom to me. That’s why his passing feels so massive,” Russell said.

“But it’s important to recognise that living life to the max then dying the way he did is not really something to celebrate,” Russell pointed out. “Keith’s death was awful. It’s impossible to be philosophical about what happened. It shouldn’t have happened. We were all so shocked.”

At Flint’s funeral, thousands of Prodigy fans lined the streets of Braintree in Essex, where the band formed, in celebration of his life.

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“Most funerals are buttoned-down, but his was full of the most authentic expressions of love,” concluded Russell in his remembrance. “Lots of people came just to rave outside – Keith would have loved that. It was such a celebration of his life, as it deserved to be. So many people loved him so much.”

A house in Braintree recently paid a unique tribute to Flint in the form of a stunning Christmas lights display which was synced up to a medley of Prodigy hits.

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