The twisted Firestarter is dead.
Keith Flint, frontman for British electronic music pioneers The Prodigy, has died at the age of 49, the band confirmed in a tweet. His band mate further confirmed that Flint had taken his own life.
“It is with deepest shock and sadness that we can confirm the death of our brother and best friend Keith Flint,” the band tweeted. “A true pioneer, innovator and legend. He will be forever missed. We thank you for respecting the privacy of all concerned at this time.”
The band’s Liam Howlett wrote on its official Instagram account, “The news is true, I can’t believe I’m saying this but our brother Keith took his own life over the weekend, I’m shell shocked , f***in’ angry , confused and heart broken ….. r.i.p brother Liam #theprodigy.”
The BBC quotes a British police statement as saying that Flint was pronounced dead at the scene this morning. “The death is not being treated as suspicious and a file will be prepared for the coroner,” the statement said.
Flint was known for his spiky, horn-like hairdo, heavy eyeliner and multiple piercings, embodying the menacing narrator of the band’s best-known hit “Firestarter.”
After scoring early success in the U.K., The Prodigy went global in the mid-’90s when Flint lent his vocals to “Firestarter,” which reached #1 on the British charts. Their album The Fat of the Land topped the charts in both the U.S. and the U.K.
Global success followed, though some of the band’s other songs were controversial, including “Smack My B*** Up.” The title was offensive to some, as was the video, which featured scenes of drug and alcohol-fueled sex and violence. The Prodigy always maintained that the song didn’t advocate violence against women, but rather was a metaphor for doing anything to excess.
Flint suffered from depression and struggled with prescription drug addiction, but got sober around 2006. The band regrouped in 2009 and experienced renewed success; their most recent album, No Tourists, hit #1 in November, and it had a U.S. tour planned in May.
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