Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 June 2019

Keith Flint of Prodigy fame dies aged 49

The 'Firestarter' star had been on a worldwide tour, and was set to fly to the United States in May

Legendary The Prodigy frontman Keith Flint has died aged 49 at his home in Essex, England.

"We were called to concerns for the welfare of a man at an address in Brook Hill, North End, just after 8.10am on Monday," an Essex Police spokesman said.

"We attended and, sadly, a 49-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene. His next of kin have been informed.

"The death is not being treated as suspicious and a file will be prepared for the coroner."

The Prodigy's Liam Howlett confirmed via an Instagram post on Monday afternoon that Flint had committed suicide: "The news is true," Howlett wrote. "I can’t believe I’m saying this but our brother Keith took his own life over the weekend, I’m shell shocked, angry, confused and heart broken ..... r.i.p brother Liam."

Flint and Prodigy: a history

Flint originally joined the band as a dancer in their 1990 rave iteration, and was initially something of a peripheral member of the band, undulating on stage alongside fellow dancer and occasional keyboardist Leeroy Thornhill and MC Maxim Reality, while the music focused around Liam Howlett’s production and DJing skills.

The 1991 hits like Charlie Says and Everybody in the Place would regularly keep crowds moving in clubs, warehouses and fields in the English countryside at the tail end of the rave movement; but Howlett always had bigger ideas for the band, having long expressed a desire to make a “rave concept album”. With 1994’s Music for the Jilted Generation, his ideas began to come to fruition, and with the addition of a guitarist and various collaborations, the band’s new direction began to develop.

1992's Out of Space:

Flint’s brightly coloured hair, facial piercings and angry, rasping vocals became central to the band branching out from its rave beginnings and leading the new wave of big beat acts as they transformed into a unique blend of punk-breakbeat-metal-industrial noise.

The image that most fans will recall of Flint is as the snarling, star-spangled lead screamer from 1996’s Firestarter, which went top 30 in the US, and hit the number 1 spot in the UK and several countries across the world. The video, featuring a snarling Flint spitting lyrics while gyrating wildly in a dark tunnel, was banned from the BBC's Top of the Pops as being too frightening for children.

In a widely shared quote, Flint explained that his eccentric performance persona was all him: "It's not a character, it's me, driven by adrenaline and the amazing music. I enjoy being able to totally express myself... It's not so much singing as vocal expression."

1996's Firestarter:

The band toured as a trio (Flint, Howlett and Maxim) across Australia on a five-stop arena tour in February, and were due to play in Austria on April 8, before flying to the US for a month long, nine stop tour. They had also scheduled a gig in Ukraine for July, and two London dates in Clapham Common in August.

Tributes pour in

Tributes from other musicians and artists have begun to flow in for Flint, a man who truly made his mark on British music history:

The band itself also shared this tweet:

Updated: March 4, 2019 05:05 PM

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