X-Ray booking agent Steve Strange has died.
The popular music industry figure started out booking for The Limelight in Belfast in the early 80s, before gravitating to London.
With a colossal passion for music and a seemingly never-ending supply of energy, he worked his way to the very top, becoming a pivotal figure in the careers of artists as disparate as Eminem and Garbage.
Sadly, Steve Strange died on Friday (September 24th) following a short illness; he was 53 years old.
Steve Strange founded X-Ray Touring, and appropriately it was this company that broke the news. “X-ray Touring are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Strange, one of the founding partners of the agency, has passed away after a short illness. We have lost a legendary figure in our personal and professional lives that we will all deeply miss. Steve was a unique individual within our industry, his overwhelming love of music lead to a 30 year plus career guiding the touring of an eclectic mix of artists from all genres of music that he adored.”
It added: “A universally known, hugely respected and loved character – if you hadn’t already seen him at a gig or festival, you’d most certainly hear his infectious and infamous laugh. Steve had the best ears in the agency business, signing and developing the careers of countless world class Artists from small club venues to vast international multi-stadium tours.”
A host of artists paid tribute to Steve Strange today, ranging from Garbage, Ash, Gomez, and Glastonbury head honcho Emily Eavis, through to an extremely rare statement from my bloody valentine.
Find just some of the tributes below:
Absolutely heartbreaking news about Steve Strange. Our agent, our friend and one of life’s most gloriously upbeat people. You will be missed, celebrated and remembered so fondly. Goodnight big man x x pic.twitter.com/NVgXX8hVJp
— Tim Burgess (@Tim_Burgess) September 25, 2021/blockquote>
Our hearts are broken. Goodnight Mr. Steve Strange. Agent extraodinaire. The heart of a lion. Straight outta Carrick, he changed this business forever. Our force. Our constant source. Our Shining Light. Miss you like crazy Strangey. pic.twitter.com/1MKZ1O2Gt9
— ASH (@ashofficial) September 25, 2021
Terrible news one of the truly great people in this world has passed. Steve Strange was my agent for nearly 20 years and he always had my back. Heartbroken pic.twitter.com/Tt4cY5axMn
— mark lanegan (@marklanegan) September 24, 2021
Steve Strange, our agent of 24 years has died.
He had a fierce, ridiculous love of music.
He was always happy to be as silly as us and he didn’t fucking care.
He was always in the moment with us.
Everything our industry so often is not.
We all loved him.
Bye mate x pic.twitter.com/5bKYJXjf7J
— Tom Gray #BrokenRecord (@MrTomGray) September 25, 2021
Rest in the music dear Steve Strange. Fine promoter and a great friend to musicians around the globe. You will be missed sir.
— Garbage (@garbage) September 24, 2021
Incredibly sad to hear Steve Strange has passed on , he was a good friend of many years and also our agent , to us he was more like a guardian angel benefactor than agent at times , warmth and humanity were his overwhelming qualities, he will be forever missed
— my bloody valentine (@MBVofficial) September 25, 2021
Rest In Peace to my former agent, Steve Strange, he did so much, and helped our group in so many ways in , more than that, he did the same for a lot of my friends and peers. My condolences
— anton newcombe (@antonnewcombe) September 25, 2021
RIP Steve Strange pic.twitter.com/1KKsoiqE3F
— Limelight Belfast (@LimelightNI) September 25, 2021
So sad to hear the news about music agent and industry legend Steve Strange passing. He was always so kind to us here at Glastonbury and a lovely man to deal with. We will miss you sir and your infectious laugh.
— Emily Eavis (@emilyeavis) September 25, 2021