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RIP Pete Burns, Singer of Dead or Alive

If you were around in 1985, you might remember seeing this music video for the first time and going “What the f**k is this?” I know I did.

Dead or Alive singer Pete Burns was cut from the same cloth as Boy George, Divine and Marilyn, a gender-bending UK singer who loved to shock and confuse. After a couple more hits–“Brand New Lover” comes to mind–Pete found fame as a C-list celebrity, participating in shows like Celebrity Big Brother, Celebrity Wife Swap and The Body Shocking Show.

He also became addicted to plastic surgery.

Over the course of a couple fo decades, he had more than 300 (NOT a typo) plastic surgery procedures, some in search of physical perfection, others to fix botched procedures. After winning a settlement for one operation gone bad–he received £450,000–he had 200 (again, NOT a typo) operations within two years to fix whatever went wrong.


Pete was once quoted as saying “I hope when I’m 80 and I get to heaven God doesn’t recognize me.” He may have got his wish. Pete died of a massive cardiac arrest Sunday at the age of 57. Some attribute his death to the massive number of surgeries his body endured over the years.

There’s much, much more to the story. Read all about it here.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38513 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

2 thoughts on “RIP Pete Burns, Singer of Dead or Alive

  • Love him or hate him, you can’t deny the fact that Pete Burns opened doors and paved the way for so many. Boy George, Marilyn, Divine, Steve Strange and a host of others with their androgynous looks of the early 80’s were true rebels against the mainstream society. Sharp tongues, bitchy, catty but loved by so many. We’ve lost another hreat talent and sadly siralling downwards into the market of manufactured pop. RIP Pete.

  • The irony of having a typo in the line with (NOT a typo).


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