Seth Binzer, lead singer for Crazy Town who was known as ‘Shifty Shellshock,’ dead at 49

Seth Binzer, who went by the stage name Shifty Shellshock and was lead singer for Crazy Town, has died. He was 49.

The news was confirmed by Binzer’s publicist Kelly Springer, who told CNN that her client “was a courageous fighter. So full of talent, light, compassion, love and grace. He will be missed by so many. He was one of those souls that was magnetic. We will miss you Seth. We are heart broken. Thank you for your talents and contributions to our music industry. We were all blessed to have had you.”

According to the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s online records, Binzer died on Monday in Los Angeles. His cause of death is listed as “deferred,” pending additional investigation.

Binzer was the lead singer behind Crazy Town’s famed track “Butterfly,” among others.

Binzer and Bret Mazur co-founded the rap-rock band in the mid-1990s, with Adam “DJ AM” Goldstein later joining the group.

Crazy Town became popular in the early aughts when the hit “Butterfly” was released, and spent two weeks on the Billboard Hot 100.

The band sold more than six million copies of their debut album “The Gift of the Game,” released in 1999.

After Crazy Town released their second studio album “Darkhorse” in 2002, Binzer and Mazur parted ways.

Binzer went on to work as a songwriter, producer and sound mixer for bands including The Plain White Tees, Julien K and Hollywood Undead, among others, according to the band’s biography on their Facebook page.

Crazy Town posing for a photo in Berlin in 2001. - Fryderyk Gabowicz/picture alliance via Getty Images
Crazy Town posing for a photo in Berlin in 2001. - Fryderyk Gabowicz/picture alliance via Getty Images

Binzer had been open about his struggles with substance abuse, most notably through his appearances on the 2008 season of “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew” and on two seasons of “Sober House” between 2009 and 2010.

“I have a really good group of people around me,” Binzer said on a 2023 episode of the Punk Rock MBA podcast. “I’m very grateful to be here.”

He added that he was continuing to make music, describing it as something that has “become my therapy for myself. Even if noone gets it and it helps me, then I guess it’s good. And if people love it, that’s even better.”

Earlier this year, Binzer re-released a remix of “Butterfly” in a collaboration with the rock band Black Oxygen called “Butterfly (New Anthem).” He also released an EP in March titled “Flirting With Disaster” under the band name Crazy Town X, alongside band members Mark_CXT, DJ Rick One and Sean Heenan.

Binzer reflected on his sobriety in one of his final Instagram posts, writing in April that he was “grateful.”

“I’m a lover than a fighter,” he wrote. “But the one I need to love more Instead of fight with is myself.”

This story has been updated. 

For more CNN news and newsletters create an account at