Home Breaking News Steve Harley, lead singer of Cockney Rebel and famed for ‘Make Me Smile,’ dies at 73.

Steve Harley, lead singer of Cockney Rebel and famed for ‘Make Me Smile,’ dies at 73.

The British musician was undergoing treatment for cancer prior to his passing.

by Jamsheera
Steve Harley dies at 73

British musician Steve Harley, renowned for his contributions to glam-rock with the band Cockney Rebel and their enduring hit “Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me),” has passed away at the age of 73.

Harley’s family announced on Sunday that he peacefully departed at home, surrounded by loved ones. Last year, Harley revealed he was undergoing treatment for a serious battle with cancer.

Born in London in 1951, Harley initially pursued careers in accountancy and journalism, before venturing into the performing arts at folk clubs in the city.

Forming Cockney Rebel, Harley debuted with “The Human Menagerie” in 1973, but the band faced internal conflicts. Rebranding as Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel, they released “The Best Years of Our Lives” in 1975, featuring Harley’s biggest hit, “Make Me Smile.” Produced by Alan Parsons, the song’s sharp lyrics targeted Harley’s former bandmates and its infectious chorus topped the UK singles chart. It gained widespread popularity, being covered numerous times and featured in various soundtracks, including the film “The Full Monty” (1997) and advertisements for Carlsberg beer and Marks and Spencer department store.

Harley’s versatility extended to singing the title song of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical “The Phantom of the Opera” with Sarah Brightman in 1986. Initially cast as the titular character for the stage production, he was later replaced by Michael Crawford.

Midge Ure, Ultravox frontman and producer of Harley’s 1982 track “I Can’t Even Touch You,” praised him as a dedicated “working musician.” Ure expressed condolences to Harley’s family, highlighting his enduring legacy through his music.

Harley is survived by his wife Dorothy, children Kerr and Greta, and four grandchildren. In a statement, the family expressed their awareness that he would be deeply missed by people worldwide.

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