“It is with profound sadness that we announce the death of our beloved husband and father Leslie Richard McKeown,” the family shared. “Leslie died suddenly at home on Tuesday 20 April 2021. We are currently making arrangements for his funeral and ask for privacy after the shock of our profound loss.”
McKeown was the frontman of the teen pop sensation Bay City Rollers during the height of their popularity in the 1970s. The group, which released 13 studio albums, had several that made the Billboard 200; among them was their 1975 self-titled release, which peaked at No. 20, and 1977’s It’s a Game, which peaked at No. 23. The Scottish pop group also landed three songs in the top 10 of the Hot 100: “Saturday Night,” which topped the chart in January 1976; “Money Honey,” which reached No. 9 in April 1976; and “You Made Me Believe in Magic,” which came in at No. 10 in August 1977.
The singer left the group in 1978, but did rejoin them in recent years for a number of reunion shows.
“I think we were a breath of fresh air in the ’70s. There was nothing complicated about our music — although it’s amazing how many people who used to come to our concerts as teenagers are still coming back with their daughters after all these years and they’re singing our songs together,” McKeown said in a 2016 interview with The Press and Journal. “That’s pretty special.”
He also spoke about reuniting with his bandmates for nostalgia shows. “I think, in some ways, we are a breath of fresh air again,” he said at the time. “Whenever I go out on stage, you can sense the magic in the air and it is like old pals meeting up.”
See the family’s announcement of his death below:
— Les McKeown (@LesMcKeownUK) April 22, 2021