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The Sweet Bassist Steve Priest Dies at 72 – Remembering His Life and Career

Junie Sihlangu
Jun 06, 2020
06:00 P.M.

This week the music industry lost another musician in the form of Sweet’s lead vocalist and bassist, Steve Priest. His family was the ones who announced his passing on Thursday, June 4, 2020.


Taking to Twitter, The Sweet shared Priest’s death announcement from his family. The message read: "It is with a heavy heart that we announce at 8:25 am PT today, Steve Priest, founding member of The Sweet, passed away.”

The star was 72-years-old at the time of his death, but a cause of death wasn’t revealed. In the 1970s, The Sweet was one of the hit bands in the rock ‘n roll era.

Steve Priest of The Sweet backstage in a dressing room in April 1975 in Copenhagen, Denmark | Photo: Jorgen Angel/Redferns/Getty Images

Steve Priest of The Sweet backstage in a dressing room in April 1975 in Copenhagen, Denmark | Photo: Jorgen Angel/Redferns/Getty Images


They had 13 Top 20 hit songs to show how big they were. Priest started with the band in the late 1960s when they were still known as the Sweetshop.

In 1970, the band had a false start with Parlophone before signing up to RCA worldwide. The following year, they had their first hit song, “Funny Funny.”



A year later, the group had another hit with the tracks “Little Willy” and “Wig-Wam Bam.” Some of their other hit songs included “Teenage Rampage,” “Hell Raiser,” “Ballroom Blitz,” and “Blockbuster.”

Their 1974 album, “Desolation Boulevard,” was noted as their strongest release. Priest earned himself a following of fans who loved his playful manner.



In the book “Shock and Awe: Glam Rock and Its Legacy,” Simon Reynolds wrote that the bassist became “the instigator of androgynous mischief.” Priest later described himself as having “Milky skin, wavy red hair, puckered lips… ‘I looked like a 12-year-old girl.’”


The bass player ended up taking up the lead vocals after frontman Brian Connolly left in 1978. The band finally disbanded in 1981, after taking a year off in 1979, when drummer Mick Tucker suffered a personal tragedy.



Over the years, the band would reunite to play gigs. On February 23, 1948, the late star was born in Hayes, Middlesex and he married his wife, Maureen, in 1981 when the group was close to calling it quits.


His wife was a director of publicity for Capital and EMI in New York. They had three daughters together, Lisa, Danielle, and Maggie.

Priest is survived by his wife, all three daughters, and three grandchildren, Jordan, Hazel, and Jade.

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