Mark Hollis, lead singer of the “post-rock” band Talk Talk, has been reported dead at the age of 64.
Hollis’s longtime manager Keith Aspden told NPR that he had passed away after a short illness.
“I can’t tell you how much Mark influenced and changed my perceptions on art and music,” Aspden said. “I’m grateful for the time I spent with him and for the gentle beauty he shared with us.”
Talk Talk achieved their greatest success with a string of singles in the early Eighties, including Talk Talk, Such a Shame and It’s My Life (later covered by Gwen Stefani’s band No Doubt). At the end of the decade, they added critical acclaim to commercial success, thanks to the albums Spirit of Eden (1988) and Laughing Stock (1991).
A number of former bandmates and friends have paid tribute to Hollis online. Talk Talk’s bassist Mark Webb said on Instagram that he was “shocked and saddened”:
The director Tim Pope, who oversaw Talk Talk’s music videos, added his condolences.
“Condolences to [Hollis’s] lovely family,” he wrote. “We had many, many laughs together.”
Goodbye to Mark Hollis of Talk Talk. Condolences to his lovely family. We had many, many laughs together. This is us being the nightmare interview from hell https://t.co/xzqfQnN4P6— Tim Pope�� (@timpopedirector) February 25, 2019
After Talk Talk disbanded in 1992, Hollis retreated from the public gaze, frequently stating his desire for privacy.
He released a self-titled debut album in 1998, and also contributed to electronic group UNKLE’s debut album Psyence Fiction (1998) but asked to be kept out of its liner notes.