Megadeth Rocker Dave Mustaine Pays Tribute to Bad Company Singer Brian Howe (Exclusive)

The music industry was shaken on Thursday, after news emerged that former Bad Company singer Brian Howe had passed away. Howe reportedly died at the age of 66, after suffering cardiac arrest. Many of his peers have come out to lament the tragic loss, with Megadeth founder Dave Mustaine now paying tribute to the late rocker.

In an exclusive statement to PopCulture.com, Mustaine wrote, "I’ve recently heard that Brian Howe of Bad Company has passed away. I’d like to pass along my condolences to all his family members, to all his fans, and to his band, Bad Co. I hope to one day meet up again in heaven. Sincerely, Dave Mustaine." In 1997, Megadeth released the album Cryptic Writings, which featured the song "I'll Get Even" that Howe co-wrote with Mustaine, Marty Friedman, and David Ellefsonon. Howe joined Bad Company in 1986, and sang on four of the bands studio albums until his departure from the band in 1994.

He previously spoke about his decision to leave the band, saying that it was "not difficult" to do. "It had got to the point where nobody was contributing anything to songwriting and quite frankly, the band was getting very very sloppy live," he said in an interview, per MelodicRock.com. "I quite simply, along with Terry Thomas, got tired of doing all the work and then getting nothing but resentment for it from Mick and Simon." Howe did have a "highlight" from his time in the band, saying, "The highlight for me in Bad Co. was turning the group around from being almost a bar band (that's how far they had fallen) to selling millions of records again and playing to sold out shows 15,000 / 25,000 people every night."

Prior to Howe, Paul Rodgers was the singer for Bad Company. When asked if performing Rodgers-era songs live was difficult, Howe said, "Playing BAD CO songs live was no problem as Paul has a lower range than I do it actually gave my voice a rest during what was a very exhausting live show,not many singers would attempt to go where I went range wise and put all those songs in a live set...perhaps only the great John Farnham (my favourite all time voice)."

Howe also replied to a question about what his favorite Bad Company album was by quipping, "I loved recording all of the Bad Co. studio albums during which time I never saw the other band members!" He later admitted to having a favorite Bad Company song, revealing, "I think my favourite song from those days would have to be 'If You Needed Somebody.' It still sounds current."