Pete Burns, the lead singer of the '80s band Dead or Alive who went on to appear on reality television shows, died Sunday after going into cardiac arrest, his management announced Monday. He was 57.
Burns was "one of our great true eccentrics, and such a big part of my life," Boy George said Monday. Burns got his start in the late 1970s as a member of the British goth band Nightmares, which morphed into Dead or Alive. The band released their first album, Sophisticated Boom Boom, in 1984, followed by Youthquake in 1985, which featured their biggest hit, "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)." The song reached No. 1 on the U.K. charts and 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S.
Known for his androgynous look, Burns once said in an interview that the "trouble is that people are all too ready to jump to conclusions about anybody who they think looks a bit strange," and that over the years, he had to learn "how to deal with people who refuse to take me seriously. That's where I learnt the blunt side of my character." Burns appeared on Britain's Celebrity Big Brother in 2006, and was open about the numerous cosmetic surgeries he underwent, telling the Daily Mail: "People redecorate their homes every few years, and I see this as no different. Changing my face is like buying a new sofa." Catherine Garcia