- Associated Press - Friday, February 13, 2015

LONDON (AP) - Steve Strange, a singer with the British band Visage and one of the founders of the 1980s’ New Romantic style, has died at age 55.

August Day Recordings, Strange’s record label, said he died Thursday of an apparent heart attack in a hospital in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheik.

Visage had its best-known hit in 1980 with the electronic pop number “Fade To Grey,” but Strange probably had greater influence as the co-founder of London’s Blitz club. The club became the crucible of a blend of danceable pop and outrageous fashion that became known as New Romantic.

The genre produced stars including Culture Club, Duran Duran and Spandau Ballet and the dandyish Strange was one of the era’s brightest peacocks.

Former Visage member Midge Ure told the BBC that Strange set the tone for the Blitz club, “because he wouldn’t let anyone in he didn’t like the look of.”

“So he famously turned away Mick Jagger, because they thought he was too rock ‘n ‘roll,” Ure said Friday. “But when David Bowie turned up, all these cool kids went into turmoil and meltdown, because the king had appeared.”

Spandau Ballet said Strange, whose real name was Steven Harrington, was “a huge influence on the musical and cultural landscape of the Eighties.”

“Without him, we would never have been here,” said Spandau Ballet guitarist Gary Kemp. “A maverick to the end.”


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