Steve Bronski, a founding member of the trailblazing gay British synth-pop trio Bronski Beat, has died at age 61. No cause of death was given.
Bronski, AKA Steven Forrest, formed the band alongside Somerville and Larry Steinbachek in 1983. All three members of the band were proudly out as gay and America’s Spin magazine described them as “perhaps the first real gay group in the history of pop”.
Working with him on songs and the one song that changed our lives and touched so many other lives, was a fun and exciting time. Thanks for the melody, Steve.Jimmy Somerville
Bronski Beat’s debut single, 1984’s Smalltown Boy, tells the story of a gay teenager leaving his family and prejudice in his hometown for an uncertain life in London. The record’s inner groove was etched with the number of the London Gay Switchboard.
Later that year Bronski Beat headlined the Pits and Perverts concert at the Electric Ballroom in London to raise funds for the Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners campaign, a performance depicted in the 2014 British film Pride.
Somerville left the band in summer 1985 owing to tensions within the group. He went on to have a successful career with the Communards and as a solo artist
Bronski continued to produce and record and spearheaded the recording of a revamped version of The Age of Consent titled The Age of Reason, with vocalist Stephen Granville. “We should be living in an age of reason,” Bronski told Pennyblack Music. “The trans community should not live in fear, and gay kids should not be bullied. We have come a long way, but there is still a long way to go.”