Keith Flint — the maniacal, fluorescent-haired punk-rock vocalist of U.K. electronic-music stars the Prodigy, best known for singing the Nineties hit “Firestarter” — was found dead this morning (March 4th) at his home in Essex. He was 49 years old and appears to have died by suicide.
“It is with deepest shock and sadness that we can confirm the death of our brother and best friend Keith Flint,” the band stated on social media. “A true pioneer, innovator and legend. He will be forever missed. We thank you for respecting the privacy of all concerned at this time.” In a different post, on the group’s Instagram account, Flint’s bandmate Liam Howlett grieved over his friend’s passing. “I can’t believe I’m saying this but our brother Keith took his own life over the weekend ,” he wrote. “I’m shell shocked , fuckin angry , confused and heart broken. r.i.p brother.”
Formed in 1990 by Howlett and Flint, the Prodigy were arguably the most successful artists to break out of the Nineties acid house scene and would go on to sell over 30 million records worldwide. Flint was originally the group’s dancer but eventually graduated to singer via the Prodigy’s 1996 single “Firestarter,” the band’s first track to feature vocals. The song would appear on the act’s 1997 third album The Fat of the Land, which saw the Prodigy move in a less rave-based, more aggressive, rock-inflected direction; Flint notably provided lead vocals to the song “Breathe,” another hit single off the album. Most recently, the group released its seventh LP, No Tourists — Flint sang on three tracks on the album — and had big touring plans in support of the record, including their first U.S. tour in 10 years.