Steve Strange dead: Music stars pay tribute to ‘legendary’ agent

Booker Steve Strange who died at the age of 53, after a brief illness, had during his lifetime, worked with host of artists like Eminem, Snow Patrol, Coldplay and Queens of the Stone Age and Ed Sheeran.

Steve’s death was confirmed by his agency X-Ray Touring. The agency’s statement read:
“X-ray Touring are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Strange, one of the founding partners of the agency, has passed away after a short illness.

“We have lost a legendary figure in our personal and professional lives that we will all deeply miss.

“Steve was a unique individual within our industry, his overwhelming love of music lead to a 30 year plus career guiding the touring of an eclectic mix of artists from all genres of music that he adored.

“A universally known, hugely respected and loved character – if you hadn’t already seen him at a gig or festival, you’d most certainly hear his infectious and infamous laugh.”

Steve Strange, who was from Carrickfergus, started out as a drummer for Northern Irish rock band No Hot Ashes before becoming an agent.

Ed Sheeran was among celebrities who paid tribute to him, describing his death as a “very sad day” and said that it was a “huge loss”.

Sharing the news on his Instagram Stories, Ed Sheeran wrote: “A very sad day, and a huge loss.”

Ed Sheeran pays tribute to Strange

Snow Patrol also paid tribute to Strange, who had been their agent for over 20 years, and said that they were “devastated” by his death.

The band, comprised of Paul Wilson, Jonny Quinn, Johnny McDaid and Gary Lightbody, wrote: ““We are devastated at his loss. Our deepest heartfelt love goes out to his daughter Saskia. And also to @joshjavor @macleod.claire and everyone at @xraytouring and to all his dear friends who loved him as we did, our love to you all.

“Steve Strange, our agent of over 20 years, passed away yesterday. Much more than just our agent he was part of our family and someone extremely dear to us.

“He had so many friends because he was so irresistibly loveable, positive, kind, passionate, generous, funny and sincere. Sincerity not always an easy thing to find in the business side of music (or any business for that matter) but Steve had it to spare.

“When Steve loved your band there was no one who loved it more. Steve had been with us from pretty much the start, and had guided us from tiny venues with a handful of people for so many years all the way to the biggest venues and festivals on the planet

“He had believed in us before almost anyone else in the music industry did. In 2004, after many years of slogging we headlined a stage at a festival for the very first time: T in the Park, Scotland, 2004, the King Tuts Tent.

“Backstage just before we went on Steve excitedly told us the tent was full to capacity and there were ‘twice as many f*g people outside the tent as inside it’, this line accompanied as always with his distinctive full throated laugh.

“While on stage during the first song while still trying to take in the insanity and chaos of the wild crowd, I turned around to see Steve at side of stage beaming a smile that in my memory seemed to be somehow wider than his face. Such pride he could barely contain in his boys that he’d seen through many a hard time. Today as I write I can see him still there, as if it was yesterday, smiling with his whole body.”

They added: “To picture a world without him in it is to picture a world so diminished. With less joy, less positivity, less optimism, less heart. Quieter, duller and much less interesting.

“So instead we’ll remember the joy he brought so many people and tell ‘Steve Strange Stories’. Everyone that knows him will have some good Steve Strange Stories (I will even share one or two on here, so those that don’t know him can get to know him a little more). So today and for as long as we live we’ll tell those stories and they’ll bring us joy, and maybe the profound sadness that will be pervasive for a long time at his loss will be tempered somewhat by the laughter and joy that he brought us and everyone that knew him.

“We love you Steve. Thank you for more than we can ever put into words. Your boys, SP.x”

They Charlatans: “We are all heartbroken that our beloved agent has sadly passed away. Steve Strange RIP.”

The Charlatans’ Tim Burgess called Steve “one of life’s most gloriously upbeat people”.

He said: “Absolutely heartbreaking news about Steve Strange. Our agent, our friend and one of life’s most gloriously upbeat people. You will be missed, celebrated and remembered so fondly. Goodnight big man xx”

Irish rock band Kodaline Tweeted: “We are truly saddened to hear the news of our friend and agent Steve Strange. Steve signed us to his roster at X-Ray touring before we had even played a show as Kodaline and since then has helped guide and shape our live career.”

Strange, who has been described as one of the most important and influential figures to ever emerge from the Irish music industry, started as an agent with Prestige in 1991. Later, he worked as a promoter with MCD/Wonderland before returning to London to join FAB Agency and Solo.

In 1997, he joined Helter Skelter, and this is where his career grew and prospered.

Strange was a founding partner in X-ray Touring, which was launched in 2005.