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Larry Steinbachek (1960 - 2016)

Getty / Redferns / Peter Noble

Larry Steinbachek (1960 - 2016)

Larry Steinbachek, the keyboard player who co-founded the 1980s British synthpop band Bronski Beat, died in December 2016, according to multiple news sources. He was 56.

The death wasn't announced until 2017 when Steinbachek's sister Louise Jones told the BBC News that he died last month with friends and relatives at his bedside. The cause was cancer.


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Steinbachek (photo, center), who was born May 6, 1960, also played percussion. He co-founded the group in 1983 with singer Jimmy Somerville (photo, right) and Steve Bronski, who also played keyboards and percussion. All three bandmates were openly gay, and their music's lyrics often touched on prejudice toward gay people and other gay-related issues.

The Bronski Beat notched top-10 U.K. hits including "Why?" and "Smalltown Boy," which was their debut single. Their debut album, "The Age of Consent," charted as high as No. 4 in the U.K., No. 36 in the U.S., and No. 12 in Australia.

In 1985, before Somerville left the group to form another band, the trio joined up with Marc Almond, the singer of the band Soft Cell, to record a version of Donna Summer's "I Feel Love." That record, like their debut single, reached No. 3 in the U.K. Following Somerville's departure, the Bronski Beat hired a new singer, but the group disbanded by the mid-'90s.

Almond took to social media Friday to pay tribute to Steinbachek: "Very sad to hear of the young death of Larry Steinbachek, the singer tweeted. "Enjoyed working with Bronski back in the 80s and having a big hit with them."

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