Music News

World Party and The Waterboys star Karl Wallinger dies age 66

Acclaimed singer and songwriter Karl Wallinger, best known for his work with World Party and The Waterboys, has died at the age of 66. The cause of his death is yet to be announced.

In addition to World Party and The Waterboys, Wallinger was also known as the songwriter behind Robbie Williams’s global hit She’s The One, which he released with World Party in 1997.

Born in Prestatyn, Wales in 1957, his music career started in 1977 as keyboardist with the band Pax. But it was six years later that his career started to develop significantly when he joined The Waterboys in 1983. Despite being with the band for just two years, he toured with them and played on their second and third albums – A Pagan Place (1984) and This Is The Sea (1985).

He then went on to form his own band World Party, whose debut album Private Revolution was released in 1986 and featured the hit single Ship Of Fools.

The band would go on to release another four albums in the form of Goodbye Jumbo (1990), Bang! (1993), Egyptology (1997) and Dumbing Up (2000).

In 2001, Wallinger suffered a brain aneurysm and was absent from the music scene for five years after undergoing surgery. He is survived by wife Suzie Zamit, son Louis Wallinger, daughter Nancy Zamit and two grandchildren.

People from across the world of music have been paying tribute to the late star on social media.

Julian Lennon posted on X (formerly Twitter): “So very sad to hear of Karl Wallinger’s passing… We’ve lost another Good’un… Safe travels my friend.”

Peter Gabriel also wrote on the platform: “Shocked and saddened to learn we no longer have Karl Wallinger with us. I had admired his work from afar but it was when we did a Real World Recording Week together that I had the most creative and fun week I have ever had in the studio. Karl was overflowing with wonderful musical ideas that blew us all away, all delivered with terrible jokes that had us laughing uncontrollably all day and night.

“He was such a gifted, natural writer and player, it was a tap that he could turn on at will, effortlessly. Like many a great comic and many great musicians, melancholy was strong in the mix, but his charm, humility, intelligence and razor-sharp wit made him great company. Karl was an abundant talent and we have been given extraordinary music and memories from this extraordinary man. Thank you, Karl.”

Sheryl Crow wrote: I’m so sad to hear of Karl Wallinger’s passing. He was an amazing talent and made some of my favorite records with World Party. RIP Karl

Singer Chesney Hawkes wrote: “We lost one of the all time greats today. Karl Wallinger was a beautiful soul and a genius songwriter.”

UK-based management company Enable Music wrote: “Privileged to work closely with him across a couple of albums, hear his demos, watch him record, play live, get high, get low, be a pal…

“Genius, never appreciated as widely as should have been, play a World Party tune now.”

The Waterboys frontman Mike Scott also posted: “Just received this. Travel on well my old friend. You are one of the finest musicians I've ever known.”

Curt Smith of Tears for Fears, said: “Very sad news, I was a big fan of Karl’s.”