Steve Priest, bassist and co-founder of the British glam-rock band Sweet, died at the age of 72 on Thursday. The announcement was made on the official band's website, while Deadline noted that no additional details about his passing have been made public.
The band, also known as The Sweet, formed in London back in 1968 and had their first hit song, "Funny Funny" three years later. While they started as more straightforward pop, their sound evolved in the early 1970s into more of an operatic rock style, which was popularized by other British rock groups like The Who. They parlayed that sound into the glam-rock they became most famous for, and in the '70s they scored 13 hits in the Top 20, including "Block Buster," "Teenage Rampage" and the mega-hit "The Ballroom Blitz." The latter, which reached number one in the UK in 1973, has since been featured in a number of films, including Suicide Squad, The Edge of Seventeen and, perhaps most memorably, Wayne's World.
The band continued to tour even after vocalist Brian Connelly left the band in 1979. Sweet continued on as a power-trio with Priest on lead vocals before calling it quits in 1982. Three years later, guitarist Andy Scott wanted to re-form the band with Priest, who declined the offer. However, he did attend a demo session in Los Angeles, California with the other founding members in 1988 to see if they could pull off a new album. Despite rumors that record labels were already making offers, they never ended up on the same page. Not long after, Priest, Connelly and Scott each toured with their own respective versions of Sweet, often simultaneously. Connelly died in 1997, followed by drummer Mick Tucker in 2002.
Born in Hayes, Middlesex in 1948, Priest began playing in bands as a teenager, taking influence from The Who, The Rolling Stones and The Shadows. He published an autobiography in 1996, titled Are You Ready Steve?, which was lifted from the famed intro to "The Ballroom Blitz." In 2008, he formed his most recent touring version of Sweet back in 2008 and though he often had to play while seated, they toured regularly until his death. He's survived by his wife of 39 years Maureen O’Connor, their daughters Danielle and Maggie, daughter Lisa and three grandchildren, Jordan, Jade and Hazel.