Music News

Cockney Rebel singer Steve Harley dies age 73

Steve Harley, singer of British rock band Cockney Rebel, has died at the age of 73.

Harley was best known for his song was Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me) which reached the top of the charts in 1975.

The artist was recently forced to cancel a series of live dates in order to recieve treatment for cancer.

His daughter Greta said that Harley had "passed away peacefully at home", adding: "We know he will be desperately missed by people all over the world." His family were by his side when he died.

"Whoever you know him as, his heart exuded only core elements. Passion, kindness, generosity. And much more, in abundance," Greta said in a statement.

"The birdsong from his woodland that he loved so much was singing for him. His home has been filled with the sounds and laughter of his four grandchildren."

In October 2023, Harley announced the cancellation of Steve Harley Acoustic Band shows that were scheduled to take place in January 2024. At Christmas he posted a message on his website saying: “2023 has not exactly been an annus horribilis for me, as the first half was often magical, with some great nights on stage with Barry, Oli and David. And the full rock band in Holland and Belgium, and Denmark … out there, on the road, that’s where I come alive. The second half, well … cancelling live dates is heartbreaking. I’m aware of the stress and financial strain it can place on you.

“But I’m fighting a nasty cancer. My oncologist is pleased with the treatment’s effects so far. It’s tiresome, and tiring. But the fight is on. And thankfully the cursed intruder is not affecting the voice. I sing and play most evenings.”

Harley found fame with Cockney Rebel in the early 1970s with their distinct style of glam rock. The band was made up of Harley, Jean-Paul Crocker, drummer Stuart Elliott, bassist Paul Jeffreys and guitarist Nick Jones.

Harley also enjoyed success as a solo artist, before the band reformed in 1990.