BUZZCOCKS singer Pete Shelley has died of a suspected heart attack.
The frontman's brother Gary McNeish announced the news on Facebook, telling fans: "This is the hardest thing I have ever had to do, is tell you my brother Pete Shelley had a heart attack this morning and passed away."
The band's official Twitter account followed it with a statement reading: "It's with great sadness that we confirm the death of Pete Shelley, one of the UK's most influential and prolific songwriters and co-founder of the seminal original punk band Buzzcocks."
It continued: "Pete's music has inspired generations of musicians over a career that spanned five decades and with his band and as a solo artist, he was held in the highest regard by the music industry and by his fans around the world. A more detailed statement will follow."
Buzzcocks' first gig came as support to the Sex Pistols in 1976, and the latter band's ex-bassist Glen Matlock expressed his shock on Twitter.
He wrote: "I am totally shocked and saddened to just hear of the untimely death of Pete Shelley. A superb songwriter, artist and a totally sweet hearted guy who was one of the very few originals of punk and even a one off within that. My deepest condolences to his family and friends."