Tony Mills, the former lead singer for Norwegian heavy metal band TNT, has died at age 57.
The British-born singer with the classic 1980s hard rock vocal thunder — who also performed in the English band Shy — was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer six months ago. His wife, Linda, announced the news in an emotional Facebook post on Wednesday (Sept. 18) in which she paid tribute to her “loving husband and best friend.”
“It is with a shattered heart that I announce the passing of my loving husband and best friend Tony Mills,” she wrote. “He was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer in April of this year and lived his life to the fullest until he exhaled for the last time in my arms. He wanted to live, but wasn’t afraid of death.” Linda Mills said that most people would remember her late husband for his “incredible contribution” to music as the singer in Shy and TNT, as well as a solo artist and session vocalist who left behind a legacy that will “live on for many lifetimes.”
TNT confirmed the news to Billboard, writing, “God bless his soul and talent.”
In September, Linda Mills asked fans to keep her husband in their thoughts during his hospitalization with bilateral pulmonary embolisms, a major infection and delirium. Mills — who revealed his cancer diagnosis in April — sang lead vocals on three albums from the long-running Norwegian group formed in 1982 — The New Territory (2007), Atlantis (2008) and A Farewell to Arms (2010). He was the lead singer of Birmingham, England-bred group Shy from the band’s formation in 1983 until 2006, when he joined TNT. He also released six solo albums, including this year’s Beyond the Law.
“Those people closest to him will also know him as a gentle and kind soul, a dedicated husband with a love for the quiet life, his animals and his motorbikes,” she wrote of the singer born on July 7, 1962. “His sense of humour was always on point. His last summer was the happiest in his life, at the end of each day he exclaimed ‘It’s been another fantastic day!’ He spent a lot of time in his workshop fixing up his dirtbike so he could ride it later this autumn.”
She noted that the evening before he passed he whispered a last inspiring, self-deprecating thought. “‘I’ve had a good life. I’ve had a GOOD life. I’m just a bit pissed about the bike.'” The FB page contains information on a funeral and celebration of life scheduled for Sept. 25 in Tiøme, Norway.
TNT also paid homage to their late singer, writing, “you gave us 3 great albums, many great concerts and many great moments together on the road and in the studio.”
Check out the classic Shy track “Can’t Fight the Nights” below.