Talk Talk singer Mark Hollis has died aged 64

26 February 2019, 09:38 | Updated: 26 February 2019, 12:17

Mark Hollis in 1990
Mark Hollis in 1990. Picture: Getty

By Tom Eames

Mark Hollis was the founder and lead singer of the band Talk Talk since 1981.

Talk Talk were behind several big hits in the 1980s, including the songs 'It's My Life', 'Life's What You Make It', 'Such a Shame' and 'Talk Talk'.

"Sadly it's true," his former manager Keith Aspden said. "Mark has died after a short illness from which he never recovered."

The musician’s cousin, Anthony Costello, his former bandmate Paul Webb and music director Tim Pope have all seemed to confirm the sad news.

The lead singer and main songwriter of Talk Talk, Hollis co-founded the band in 1981 alongside drummer Lee Harris, bassist Paul Webb and keyboard player Simon Brenner.

After the band parted ways in 1991, Hollis released a critically-acclaimed self-titled solo album in 1998, before retiring from the music industry.

Speaking about his decision to have a private lifestyle at the time, Hollis said: “I choose for my family. Maybe others are capable of doing it, but I can’t go on tour and be a good dad at the same time.”

Pope tweeted: “Goodbye to Mark Hollis of Talk Talk. Condolences to his lovely family. We had many, many laughs together."

His cousin-in-law said: “RIP Mark Hollis. Wonderful husband and father. Fascinating and principled man. Retired from the music business 20 years ago but an indefinable musical icon.”

Simon Le Bon from Duran Duran also paid tribute, saying: “We, Duran Duran, are very sorry to learn that one of music’s great innovators Mark Hollis has died.

"The band Talk Talk, which he co-founded and fronted, were on tour with us in 1982; it made for a tremendous & very entertaining bill. Mark was the main songwriter of some truly great songs, including ‘It’s My Life’ & ‘It’s A Shame’.”