Booking Agent Steve Strange was born in Carrick fergus, Co Antrim, and has worked with a slew of well-known figures throughout the years.
He began his career as a drummer with the Northern Irish band No Hot Ashes before becoming an agent.
Who was Steve Strange?
He later went on to start X-Ray Touring and become a “legendary figure” in the music industry.
X-Ray Touring, the firm he started in 2005, issued a statement mourning his death: “Steve Strange, one of the agency’s founding partners, passed away after a brief illness, and X-ray Touring is extremely grieved.
“We have lost a legendary character in our personal and professional lives who will be greatly missed by all of us.
“Steve was a one-of-a-kind figure in our profession, with a 30-year career overseeing the tours of an eclectic mix of performers from all kinds of music he enjoyed.
“A universally known, hugely respected, and adored guy — you’d almost surely hear his contagious and infamous laugh if you hadn’t already seen him at a show or festival.”
What caused the booking agent’s death?
His cause of death is unknown, but he is claimed to have died after a “brief illness.”
According to Music Business Worldwide, X-Ray Touring was founded by Strange and co-founders Ian Huffam, Jeff Craft, Scott Thomas, and Martin Horne.
Robbie Williams, Gorillaz, Linkin Park, Pixies, Stereophonics, and the Bombay Bicycle Club are among the more than 400 artists on X-roster. Ray’s
Who has paid their respects?
“A really sad day, and a great loss,” Ed Sheeran stated in an Instagram story in response to the news.
Strange was described as a “close friend” by Coldplay in an emotional tribute on Twitter.
The band went on to say that his passing had left them “devastated” and that he was a “giant” in the music industry “..
“We will miss you dear Steve,” they said at the end of their statement. “No doubt you are at The Aftershow to end them all.”
Tim Burgess of The Charlatans described him as “our agent, our friend, and one of life’s most brilliantly optimistic individuals,” and said the news was “extremely sad.”
“You will be sorely missed, honoured, and remembered,” he added. “Goodnight, huge man,” says the narrator.
Strange had been Snow Patrol’s agent for nearly 20 years, and the band said his passing had left them “devastated,” sharing wonderful memories of their buddy and best supporter in a sorrowful Instagram post.
Gary Lightbody, Nathan Connolly, Paul Wilson, Jonny Quinn, and Johnny McDaid, a Northern Irish-Scottish band, wrote: “There was no one who loved your band more than Steve. Steve had been with us since the beginning, guiding us from small venues with a handful of people to the world’s largest venues and festivals.
“He was the first person in the music industry to believe in us. After many years of slogging, we finally headlined a stage at a festival in 2004: T in the Park, Scotland, the King Tuts Tent.
“Backstage, just before we went on, Steve exclaimed that the tent was completely full and that there were “twice as many f*****g people outside the tent as there were within it,” accompanied by his trademark full-throated chuckle.
“I glanced around during the first song on stage, still trying to take in the craziness and turmoil of the wild crowd, to see Steve at the side of the stage, flashing a smile that appeared broader than his face in my memory. He couldn’t suppress his pride in his sons, whom he’d raised through adversity. As I write this, I can imagine him still there, smiling with his entire body, as if it were yesterday.”
The tribute went on: “After a show, you’d hear Steve (you’d always hear his booming voice and laugh before you saw him) outside the dressing room – Steve was usually the first person allowed in our dressing room after a show – break in and giggle about the show with reams of laughs and guffaws.
“To imagine a world without him is to imagine a world that is so diminished. There is less joy, positivism, optimism, and heart. It’s getting quieter, duller, and less intriguing.
“Instead, we’ll celebrate the joy he offered to so many people by telling ‘Steve Strange Stories.’ Everyone who knows him has a good Steve Strange story (I’ll even share one or two on here so that others who don’t know him can learn a little more about him).
So we’ll repeat those memories today and for as long as we live, and they’ll bring us joy, and perhaps the great pain that will be felt for a long time as a result of his death will be mitigated in some way by the laughter and joy that he brought us and everyone who knew him.
“Steve, we adore you. Thank you for more than we’ll ever be able to express. SP.x, it’s your boys.”
“Rest in the music, dear Steve Strange,” Garbage stated on Twitter. A fantastic promoter and a wonderful friend to musicians all across the world. Sir, you will be missed.”
Emily Eavis, the founder of Glastonbury, also revealed: “I was heartbroken to learn of the demise of music agent and industry great Steve Strange.
He was always extremely nice to us at Glastonbury and a pleasure to work with. Sir, we will miss you and your contagious laugh.”
Edith Bowman, the host, added: “Such depressing news. Steve was a larger-than-life figure who was a bright presence at many of the events I attended and a driving factor behind many careers.
After the @mtvema in Barcelona, I recall singing around a grand piano. Regards to his family. SS, may you rest in peace.”
At the NI Music Prize awards in 2019, Snow Patrol honoured Steve with an Outstanding Contribution to Music award.