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Keith Flint (1969–2019), The Prodigy frontman

by Kirk Fox

Energetic frontman sang on hit singles “Firestarter” and “Breathe.”

Keith Flint was the energetic frontman for British electronic dance group The Prodigy. They popularized underground U.K. dance music in the U.S. Flint’s double mohawk, facial piercings and heavy eyeliner made him an instantly recognizable figure in 1990s. He originally joined the group as a dancer, but eventually recorded snarling vocals on hit singles “Firestarter” and “Breathe.” The Prodigy’s 1997 album “The Fat of the Land” reached number one in the U.S. and the U.K.

Although his stage persona was dangerous, he was often described by people who met him as gentle and kind. He also spoke in interviews about his struggles with drug abuse and depression.


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Died: Monday, March 4, 2019 (Who else died on March 4?)

Details of death: Died in Essex, England by suicide at the age of 49.

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He was the firestarter: The black and white video for “Firestarter” featuring Flint headbanging in a subway tunnel was banned by the BBC after complaints that it frightened children. Flint wrote the lyrics to the song, which he claimed was not actually about starting fires, but rather about what it felt like for him to get a crowd excited.

Notable quote: “It was when you’re in front of 5,000 people and you can go out there—and just with the aid of the music and a visual performance, you can stir all them people up into a frenzy and that’s almost like starting a massive fire, or a riot,” he told the BBC in 1996.

What people said about him: “It is with deepest shock and sadness that we can confirm the death of our brother and best friend Keith Flint. A true pioneer, innovator and legend. He will be forever missed.” —The Prodigy wrote on Twitter

“Oh this is sad news. The death of Keith Flint. Whenever our paths crossed he was an absolute sweetheart. Really lovely. Incredible iconic frontman with a soft centre. #RIP KeithFlint” —Jo Whiley, BBC Radio 2 DJ

Full obituary: The New York Times

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