New Romantic Pioneer Steve Strange Dies

Eighties pop star Steve Strange has died of a heart attack in Egypt at the age of 55, his record company has said.

The Welsh singer found fame in the 1980s as the frontman of Visage, whose best-known hit was Fade To Grey.

Strange also managed the Blitz Club in Soho, a focal point for the New Romantic movement.

He died on Thursday morning in Sharm el-Sheikh International Hospital.

Marc Green, label manager at August Day Recordings, said: "Steve died in his sleep of heart failure. Steve's family, band members and friends are all distraught at this sudden news of his untimely death."

Bands such as Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet and Boy George's Culture Club all got their start at the Blitz Club.

Boy George tweeted: "Heartbroken about the death of my friend Steve Strange. So bloody sad. Such a big part of my life!"

Duran Duran singer Simon Le Bon tweeted: "I'm very sad to announce that our friend Steve Strange has died in Egypt today. He was the leading edge of New Romantic. God Bless him."

Billy Idol also paid tribute online, writing: "Very sad to hear of my friend Steve Strange passing, RIP mate..."

Pop singer Kim Wilde, who toured with Strange in 2002, added: "I'm so grateful that life brought Steve and I together, he was funny, great company and completely bonkers in the most adorable way.

"He would often call up for a long chat, and always asked after my husband Hal, and our children Harry and Rose.

"Steve was a family man first and often spoke of his beloved family in Wales."

Strange, who was born Steven John Harrington in Newbridge, Monmouthshire, endured several difficult periods in his career.

Following two successful albums he became addicted to heroin after trying the drug while modelling at a Jean Paul Gaultier show in 1985.

"It was the worst mistake that I ever made in my life," he said in 2000.

There followed legal problems such as an arrest and suspended sentence for shoplifting a Teletubbies doll and cosmetics set in Bridgend, south Wales.

Strange's agent, Pete Bassett, said: "He will be remembered as a hard-working, very amusing and lovable individual who always was at the forefront of fashion trends.

"Up until last year he was putting together a book of fashion styles based on the New Romantic movement and it comes as a great shock.

"We understood that he had certain health problems but nothing we knew was life threatening.

"His friends and family are totally shocked, we had no idea anything like this was likely to happen."