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.
Absolutely heartbroken about Shawn Smith right now. We have just lost one of the greatest singers and songwriters. A remarkable talent and a lovely, lovely man. May you rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/Uq3vji0gcu
— George Garner (@george_garner8) April 6, 2019
— RetroLy (@RetroLyStore) April 6, 2019
— full in bloom (@fullinbloom) April 6, 2019
— JennyJennyJenny (@RedheadBruja) April 6, 2019
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.”
I feel so lucky that I got to see Shawn Smith sing purple rain at the 99 blues club. It was my first experience there and one of the things I thought of when they closed.
Your voice will be missed Shawn Smith.
— JENIFER STROUD (@ENYMPH) April 6, 2019
Just heard that Brad/Satchel singer Shawn Smith passed away tonight. Another great Seattle musician gone too soon.
— Solenya (@RC2671) April 6, 2019
Good night folks. I plan to spend tomorrow listening to Brad and Satchel albums while enjoying time with my family. Here are some pics of Shawn Smith in his element. ?s @jktang & @crickontour pic.twitter.com/OzIh7kR8Eo
— Travis Hay (@guerrillacandy) April 6, 2019
Seattle has lost another beautiful voice and beautiful soul. Rest In Peace, Shawn Smithhttps://t.co/7f9Iw1wq2d
— Stacy McCauslin (@Aloha_Stacy) April 6, 2019
— Bruce Pavitt (@brucepavitt) April 6, 2019
I used to drive around listening to this on a loop. It’s all about the voice of Shawn Smith. I heard he just died, but he will live forever to me in this song. https://t.co/3YeUS5esTj
— ???? ???????? (@carybrothers) April 6, 2019
Shawn Smith has died. The greatest voice in Seattle…a friend….a beautiful man. Of all days to lose him. I’m so sad, in shock and my heart aches for his family. I wish I could have been there Shawn.
— John Richards (@loserboy) April 6, 2019
Shawn Smith was on the list of people I had to work with when I moved to Seattle in Dec of 1994. I, like many others, had found him via the Brad "Shame "record. In Jan of 1996 I got my first chance on Satchel's "Family" record.
— Matt Bayles (@mattbayles) April 6, 2019
Seattle has lost a great voice. On the 25th anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s death, it hurts even more. Do yourself a favor and listen to Shawn Smith. If you don’t cry listening to this song, you haven’t lost someone close to your heart. ?#RIPShawnSmith https://t.co/RaJlFM0vJy
— JoAnne + Harry + Misha ✌? (@JoAnneHnyc) April 6, 2019
Goddamit Shawn Smith no. #RIPShawn
— Jon Manley (@manchild1077) April 6, 2019
Thank you Shawn Smith for your music…I’ll never forget the night 9 years ago that you joined the members of Mother Love Bone on stage at the Showbox for a reunion. Your songs with Brad were heavily used when I got married. Seattle lost another great artist. pic.twitter.com/gPzEBaWwwu
— Steve Migs (@ImSteveMigs) April 6, 2019
I only knew Shawn Smith as the singer who had joined the Mother Love Bone reunion in Seattle a few years ago, and I remember thinking, "How do you replace Andy Wood?"
And then I saw this.
— Craig Gass (@craiggasscomedy) April 6, 2019
We lost another great – Seattle legend Shawn Smith, the voice behind this immortal tune and the only singer capable/worthy of replacing Andy Wood in Mother Love Bone, has left us. Rest easy, big man ? https://t.co/bcUxSRHrYi
— Corey duBrowa (@coreydu) April 6, 2019
Shawn Smith has passed away. He was a friend and a beautiful artist. I will always be thankful to Greg Dulli for introducing us all those beautiful years ago when everybody jammed at Barrett Jones' warehouse on Queen Anne Satchel – Suffering https://t.co/ybvcrIbFMo via @YouTube
— donal logue (@donallogue) April 6, 2019