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The Waterboys and World Party member Karl Wallinger dies aged 66 – reports

Karl Wallinger, who starred in The Waterboys and then World Party, has died aged 66, according to reports.

The Welsh-born frontman formed World Party in 1986, shortly after his departure from The Waterboys, recording the group’s debut album Private Revolution spawning popular songs including Ship Of Fools.

The band released several more albums, with their fourth Egyptology album including track She’s The One which was later covered by British singer Robbie Williams and peaked at number one on the official UK charts in 1999.

Wallinger died on Sunday, according to reports.

Born in Wales, Wallinger began his career as a keyboardist in a variety of bands before joining The Waterboys in 1983, which saw him write the original music for hit Don’t Bang The Drum.

Among those paying tribute was The Waterboys founder Mike Scott, who said on X: “Travel on well my old friend. You are one of the finest musicians I’ve ever known.”

Wallinger exited The Waterboys after three years to form World Party, and during that period contributed to late Irish star Sinead O’Connor’s debut album The Lion And The Cobra, and they continued to work together for several years.

During his career, Wallinger also served as the musical director for the 1994 Ben Stiller-directed film Reality Bites, starring Ethan Hawke and Winona Ryder, as well as contributing to the Clueless soundtrack producing All The Young Dudes written by David Bowie a year later.

Curt Smith from pop band Tears For Fears said on X: “Very sad news, I was a big fan of Karl’s.”

In 2001, Wallinger was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm and spent five years away from the spotlight following surgery.

Wallinger is survived by his wife Suzie Zamit, two children and two grandchildren.