Bronski Beat co-founder Steve Bronski has died at the age of 61.
The sad news was announced on the synthpop band’s Facebook page.
His bandmate Jimmy Somerville said he was “sad” to hear that the keyboard player had passed away.
"He was a talented and a very melodic man," he tweeted.
"Working with him on songs and the one song that changed our lives and touched so many other lives, was a fun and exciting time.
"Thanks for the melody Steve. Jimmy x."
Sad to hear Steve Bronski has died. He was a talented and a very melodic man. Working with him on songs and the one song that changed our lives and touched so many other lives, was a fun and exciting time. Thanks for the melody Steve. Jimmy x pic.twitter.com/VfxbtZu1Nx
— Jimmy Somerville (@JimmySomerville) December 9, 2021
Bronski Beat was formed in the 80s with the initial line-up of Bronski, Somerville and Larry Steinbachek.
The band had hits such as Smalltown Boy, Why? and Hit That Perfect Beat.
Many fans saw their 1984 hit Smalltown Boy as ground-breaking at the time, as it was about a young gay man leaving his homophobic town and heading for the city.
Three years ago, Bronski told The Guardian: "At the time we were just three gay guys who started a band - we didn't feel like part of any particular movement.
“Of course, it would transpire many years later that there were more gay artists than the public were led to believe.”
Watch: How Bronski Beat's 'Smalltown Boy' video made a difference in queer culture
Many fans expressed their sadness after hearing that Bronski had died.
One wrote: “Thanks for some great electronic music tracks. Smalltown Boy is such an important track which summed up the time, and it still does to this day.”
Another said: “Bronski Beat’s music meant a lot to me as I came out in high school in the early 80s! It made me feel more proud to be myself!!”
“Bronski Beat was a guiding light of optimism during those dark days in the 80s,” said another.