Steve Bronski, co-founder and keyboard player of pioneering synth-pop band Bronski Beat, died in his flat following a fire, according to his carer.
The musician’s death was announced last Thursday (December 9) but no cause of death was given at the time.
Now, Josephine Samuel, who had cared for Bronski after he suffered a stroke three years ago, said he lived in a flat in Soho, central London that was the scene of a fatal fire last Tuesday (December 7)
Samuel told The Guardian that she had visited Bronski at the address the day before the fire and said: “Because he had suffered a stroke, it was difficult for him to get up. He died from smoke inhalation.”
She added: “I came to visit him the day before he died. His death is like a nightmare to me, because I’ve been by his side for years. We are waiting to register the death before his body is taken to Scotland for burial.”
A spokesperson for London fire brigade told the publication that a man was rescued from a first floor flat at the scene by firefighters wearing breathing apparatus last Tuesday and he later died in hospital. But she would not confirm his identity.
A spokesperson for the Metropolitan police also said that as the fire was deemed “non-suspicious”. The force could not confirm who died in the blaze.
Bronski, whose real name was Steve Forrest, formed Bronkski Beat in 1983 along with Jimmy Somerville and fellow musician Larry Steinbachek, who died after a battle with cancer in 2017.
Somerville, who is now the only surviving member of the band, was one of the first people to pay tribute to Bronski.
“Sad to hear Steve has died. He was a talented and a very melodic man. Working with him on songs and the one song [‘Smalltown Boy’] that changed our lives and touched so many other lives, was a fun and exciting time. Thanks for the melody Steve,” he said following Forrest’s death.
Bronski Beat carried on after Somerville left in 1985. John Foster replaced Somerville but then left in 1987, with Jonathan Hellyer becoming the lead singer.
The group disbanded in 1995 after a number of changes to the line-up but Forrest revived the group in 2016.
The band released five albums: 1984’s ‘The Age Of Consent’, 1986’s ‘Truthdare Doubledare’, 1987’s ‘Out & About’, 1995’s ‘Rainbow Nation’ and 2017’s ‘The Age Of Reason’.