Cockney Rebel singer Steve Harley famous for Make Me Smile dies "peacefully" aged 73

Cockney Rebel singer Steve Harley has died at the age of 73.
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The family announced that he passed away "peacefully at home" in an announcement on Facebook. They said: "We are devastated to announce that our wonderful husband and father has passed away peacefully at home, with his family by his side.

"The birdsong from his woodland that he loved so much was singing for him. His home has been filled with the sounds and laughter of his four grandchildren. Stephen. Steve. Dad. Grandar. Steve Harley. Whoever you know him as, his heart exuded only core elements. Passion, kindness, generosity. And much more, in abundance. We know he will be desperately missed by people all over the world, and we ask that you respectfully allow us privacy to grieve."

Steve Harley's passing was announced by his family on social media. Picture by Darren RobinsonSteve Harley's passing was announced by his family on social media. Picture by Darren Robinson
Steve Harley's passing was announced by his family on social media. Picture by Darren Robinson
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Cockney Rebel was touring across the UK up to January 2024, but they were forced to cancel arrangements after Steve's cancer diagnosis. His most prominent song is Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me), which the musician wrote and released in 1973.

It hit number one in 1975, with the band gaining success for their glam-rock music and London roots. The band was originally formed of Steve, Jean-Paul Crocker, drummer Stuart Elliott, bassist Paul Jeffreys and guitarist Nick Jones. The talented musician also went on to host BBC 2 radio's Sounds of the 70s between 1999 and 2008.

The Steve Harley Acoustic Band released an album called Uncovered in 2022 and carried out a performance at The New Theatre Royal in Southsea in June of that year. It contained nine covers of his favourite songs, as well as revisits of two of his own.

He previously told The News: "I'm not a pompous person, but I'm really precious about this word. These are reinterpretations. I’m just kidding, but covers are covers are covers – I've got 130 covers of Make Me Smile and most of them are covers – you think, why did you bother? But some are really original – they are reinterpretations. So these nine songs which are not mine are my reinterpretations of what I think are great songs. The criteria is: do you wish you'd written it?’

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