Scott Walker, one of the most enigmatic and influential figures in rock history, has died at the age of 76.
The star, whose songs included The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore and Joanna, influenced everyone from David Bowie to Jarvis Cocker.
He found fame as a teen idol in The Walker Brothers, but his dark baritone hinted at something deeper.
That was borne out in his experimental, psychedelic solo albums, which explored the complexities of love and death.
Walker’s death was confirmed by his current record label, 4AD, who called him “one of the most revered innovators at the sharp end of creative music“.
A reclusive, contradictory figure, Walker was never at ease with pop stardom. His orchestral pop was frequently scattered with characters from society’s margins – prostitutes, transvestites, suicidal brooders and even Joseph Stalin.
After 1984’s Climate of Hunter, he walked away from music for almost a decade. When he returned in the mid-1990s, it was with Tilt, a collection of fraught, uncompromising tone poems.
“Imagine Andy Williams reinventing himself as Stockhausen,” wrote The Guardian’s Simon Hattenstone in a profile of the singer.
Walker went on to collaborate with Pulp, producing the 2001 album We Love Trees. He recently completed the score to Natalie Portman film Vox Lux.
In 2017, the BBC paid tribute to the star with a Proms concert at the Royal Albert Hall.
Radiohead’s Thom Yorke said he was “so very sad” to hear of Walker’s passing, saying he had been “a huge influence” on both the band and himself.
The singer-songwriter said he had met Walker once at the Meltdown arts festival in London and found him to be “such a gentle outsider”.
Actor and writer Mark Gatiss responded to Yorke’s post with a plaintive “No!!” and a pensive face emoji.
The singer is survived by his daughter, Lee, his granddaughter Emmi-Lee, and his partner Beverly.