Rock Singer Gone at 73

Rock Singer Gone at 73

( – Rock star Steve Harley has died at 73. The British singer, who performed with his band the Cockney Rebels, died at his family home in Suffolk, England, after a battle with cancer. A statement from his family said they were devastated, adding that he died peacefully surrounded by his family. “We know he will be desperately missed by people all over the world, and we ask that you respectfully allow us privacy to grieve,” the statement read.

The singer and songwriter was best known for his 1970s hit “Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me),” and with the Cockney Rebels, he enjoyed 12 hit singles and five albums in the UK charts.

Mr. Harley canceled a planned tour in January, saying the decision to do so was “heartbreaking,” but he was “fighting a nasty cancer” and had no choice. The singer noted that his oncology team was pleased with his progress.

Born Stephen Malcolm Ronald Nice in London in 1951, he was one of five children whose father was a milk delivery man. In his early childhood, he contracted polio, and doctors told his parents he would likely not survive. He spent a total of four years in hospital in his youth and underwent major surgery in 1963 and 1966. His musical career began with violin lessons at age 9, followed by guitar a year later.

In 1972, he formed Cockney Rebel with guitarist Nick Jones, drummer Stuart Elliott, violinist Jean-Paul Crocker, and bassist Paul Jeffreys. Mr. Jeffreys died on Pan Am Flight 103 when it exploded over Lockerbie in Scotland in 1988 in a terrorist attack allegedly carried out by Libyan agents.

Rock legend Rod Stewart was reported by The Sun saying, “The Cockney Rebel has left us. Loved you and admired you, Steve, and always will.” A Labour Member of Britain’s Parliament noted his contribution to a charity record marking the murder of politician Jo Cox in 2016.

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