Robert Palmer died today (Sept. 26) in Paris of a heart attack. He was 54. The singer was on a two-day break in Paris following a television recording session in Britain, his manager Mick Carter said from the French capital.
In the 1980s, Palmer became a superstar with such singles as “Addicted to Love” and “Simply Irresistible” – accompanied by slick videos featuring the smartly dressed Palmer with a back-up band of attractive women, all in black outfits and glossy makeup.
A side project, Power Station, formed in 1985 with John Taylor and Andy Taylor of ’80s supergroup Duran Duran, scored three top-10 hits on Billboard’s Hot 100, including “Communication” and a cover of “Get it On (Bang a Gong).”
The son of a British naval officer, Palmer was a member of several British rock bands before he hit the big time as a solo artist. He had lived in Switzerland for the past 16 years.
Known for his GQ sense of style, Palmer was named best-dressed male artist by Rolling Stone in 1990.
The “Addicted to Love” video, with its miniskirted models strumming guitars as Palmer sang, became one of MTV’s most-played clips, and sparked protests from some feminists.
“I’m not going to attach inappropriate significance to it because at the time it meant nothing. It’s just happened to become an iconic look,” Palmer once said of the video.
He had his first hit album and single, “Sneakin’ Sally through the Alley,” in 1974.
In his 20s, Palmer worked with a number of small-time bands including Dada, Vinegar Joe, and the Alan Bown Band, occasionally appearing in opening acts for big draw including The Who and Jimi Hendrix.
Palmer once confessed that he was not attracted to the excesses of rock’n’roll stardom. “I loved the music, but the excesses of rock ‘n’ roll never really appealed to me at all,” he said. “I couldn’t see the point of getting up in front of a lot of people when you weren’t in control of your wits.”
Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.