Steve Mackey, Pulp Bassist and Producer, Dies at 56

Steve Mackey, the bassist for the Britpop band Pulp and a music producer, died on Thursday morning of an undisclosed illness. He was 56.

Pulp shared the news on their official Instagram account writing, “Our beloved friend and bass player Steve Mackey passed away this morning. Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones.” The post included a photo of Mackey walking through the Andes, and in the caption, the band wrote that they’d “very much like to think that he’s back in those mountains now, on the next stage of his adventure.”

Mackey’s wife Katie also issued a statement that said her husband’s death occurred after he had spent three months in hospital.

“Steve was the most talented man I knew, an exceptional musician, producer, photographer and filmmaker,” she wrote in an Instagram caption. “As in life, he was adored by everyone whose paths he crossed in the multiple creative disciplines he conquered. I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to all the NHS staff who worked tirelessly for Steve. He will be missed beyond words.”

Mackey was raised in the city of Sheffield in England where Pulp would first come together in the late 70s. He joined the band in 1989 and first appeared on their third 1992 album “Separations.” Mackey went on to play on every record thereafter including 1995’s “Different Class,” which boasted their greatest hit “Common People.” The collection was a standout of the Britpop movement — scoring the band a Mercury Music Prize — which also encompassed bands such as Oasis, Blur and Suede. Pulp issued its final studio album, “We Love Life,” in 2001.

After Pulp went on hiatus in 2002, Mackey switched gears to expand his producing career. He worked on M.I.A.’s early singles and also produced for Florence and the Machine, Kelis, the Kills and the Arcade Fire. Last year, Pulp announced they would be playing a slate of reunion gigs in 2023, though Mackey said he would not be taking part to focus on his other work in music, filmmaking, and photography projects.

Mackey is survived by his wife and son, Katie and Marley; his parents, Kath and Paul; and his sister Michelle.

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