Longtime Quiet Riot singer Kevin DuBrow was reportedly found dead at his Las Vegas home yesterday (Nov. 25). The cause of death is currently uncertain. He was 52.
DuBrow formed Quiet Riot with guitarist Randy Rhoads in 1975. Along with Van Halen, Quiet Riot became one of the Sunset Strip’s leading rock bands of the era. A pair of Japanese-only releases followed in the late ’70s, but the Rhoads version of Quiet Riot could not secure a U.S. recording contract. The group changed its name to DuBrow after Rhoads exited the band to join Ozzy Osbourne’s solo band in 1979.
After Rhoads’ tragic death in 1982, then-Ozzy bassist Rudy Sarzo (who was earlier a member of Quiet Riot) united once more with DuBrow. Along with guitarist Carlos Cavazo and drummer Frankie Banali, they resuscitated the Quiet Riot name. A U.S. record deal finally followed, as did the group’s full-length debut in 1983, “Metal Health.”
Although bands such as Motley Crue get the lion’s share of credit for popularizing pop metal in the 1980’s, the first band of the genre to break through to a massive audience was Quiet Riot. “Metal Health” topped The Billboard 200 (the first-ever heavy metal debut to do so at the time), on the strength of such popular MTV hits as “Metal Health (Bang Your Head)” and a cover of Slade’s “Cum on Feel the Noize.”
However, DuBrow had a penchant for being quoted in the press bad-mouthing other bands, and by the time of the group’s second release, 1984’s “Condition Critical,” its large following began deserting them in favor of such similarly styled acts as Motley Crue, Ratt and Bon Jovi.
DuBrow left the group in 1987, before ultimately returning in the early ’90s. Ever since, various Quiet Riot lineups have toured and released albums (including the “Metal Health” line-up reuniting for a spell). Quiet Riot’s latest release was 2006’s “Rehab,” and in 2004, DuBrow issued a solo album, the all-covers set “In for the Kill.”
“I can’t even find words to say,” Banali wrote on his Web site. “Please respect my privacy as I mourn the passing and honor the memory of my dearest friend Kevin DuBrow.”