Les McKeown, the former lead singer of Scottish pop sensations the Bay City Rollers, has died at the age of 65.
The news was broken on the Bay City Rollers starring Les McKeown Facebook page, in a post signed off by the singer’s wife and daughter.
It said: “It is with profound sadness that we announce the death of our beloved husband and father Leslie Richard McKeown.
“Leslie died suddenly at home on Tuesday 20 April 2021.
“We are currently making arrangements for his funeral.
“We thank you and ask for privacy after the shock of our profound loss.”
It is with profound sadness that we announce the death of our beloved husband and father Leslie Richard McKeown. Leslie…
The Edinburgh-based band was best known for massive seventies hits including Shang-a-lang, Bye Bye Baby and Give a Little Love.
Famed for their style – including distinctive tartan trousers – the band achieved ten UK number one singles between 1971 and 1976 and sparked ‘Rollermania’ through their enormous popularity.
McKeown was born in Edinburgh to Irish parents and joined the Bay City Rollers in late 1973, replacing founding lead singer Gordon “Nobby” Clark, who had become disillusioned with the band’s musical direction.
His arrival coincided with the Rollers’ ascent to fame and McKeown remained lead vocalist until 1978, appearing on Top Of The Pops on a number of occasions.
Formed at the end of the 1960s, the Bay City Rollers enjoyed huge success at home and abroad.
They had a massive teen following and sold more than 100 million records, and in the press were heralded as “biggest group since the Beatles”.
They broke through into the mainstream in 1974 after a series of singles which failed to dent the charts.
Alongside McKeown and Alan Longmuir, the classic line-up also included guitarists Eric Faulkner and Stuart Wood, with Longmuir’s younger brother Derek on drums.
McKeown, Longmuir and Wood reunited for a comeback tour in 2015 with tickets selling out in minutes.
The news comes after bassist Alan Longmuir died aged 70 in the summer of 2018.