Steve Harley Dies: Cockney Rebel Lead Singer Was 73

Steve Harley Dies: Cockney Rebel Lead Singer Was 73

Steve Harley, the frontman of British glam rock band Cockney Rebel, died Sunday at 73 from cancer.

Harley’s family said Sunday that he had “passed away peacefully at home, with his family by his side.” Harley said late last year he was being treated for “a nasty cancer.”

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His best known song was “Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me),” which went to No. 1 in the UK in 1975.

Harley also sang the title song of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical The Phantom of the Opera alongside Sarah Brightman when it was released as a single in 1986. He was originally cast in the title role for the stage musical, but was replaced by Michael Crawford.

Harley also presented Sounds of the ’70s on BBC Radio 2 from 1999-2008.

Born in London in 1951, Harley spent almost four years of his childhood hospitalized after contracting polio.

He formed Cockney Rebel, which released its first album, The Human Menagerie, in 1973. After a lineup change, the band released the 1975 album The Best Years of Our Lives, which contained Harley’s biggest hit.

The musician had still been touring in January.

Survivors include his wife, Dorothy, and two children, Kerr and Greta.


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