Another huge loss for the music community: Larry Steinbachek, founding member of British synthpop group Bronski Beat, has died at the age of 56.
Steinbachek was battling cancer and passed away in December, but it was not announced publicly until this past week.
Bandmate Jimmy Sommerville paid tribute to Larry in a Facebook post:
The band was formed by Steinbachek, Sommerville and Steve Bronski started the group in 1983. All three members were openly gay at the time of their signing to London Records the following year. Their biggest song, “Smalltown Boy,” went to #3 on the UK charts and topped the US dance charts.
The group notched a couple more Top 10 hits in the UK like “Why?” (#6) and “I Feel Love (Medley)” with Marc Almond (#3). Sommerville left the group and was replaced by John Foster, who helped propel the group to the Top 10 again with “Hit That Perfect Beat” (charting at #7 on the US Dance charts as well.)
Steinbachek would leave the group in 1995 but continued his career in music and musical theatre.
Rest in peace, Larry. Your ability to break down barriers will never be forgotten.