Steve Grimmett, singer for long-running British heavy metal band Grim Reaper, has died at 62.
The news was shared on Monday (Aug. 15) in a Facebook post from Grimmett’s son, Russ, who wrote, “We can’t begin to put into words the current feelings. But as dad was so well known the news is starting to reach out earlier than we would have liked. Unfortunately, our dad passed away today and leaves a massive hole in the world and our hearts. We are utterly heartbroken sleep tight dad. We we always love you xxx.”
The younger Grimmett, lead singer in the group Life of a Hero and the U.K. Bon Jovi tribute band Non Jovi, included a series of pics of his late rocker dad in action as part of his tribute. At press time no information was available about the cause of Grimmett’s death.
The singer’s wife, Millie, also paid tribute, writing, “This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to write but it’s with a heavy & shattered heart to say that my beloved Steve died suddenly & unexpectedly on Monday 15th August. Wait for me my love. Until we are together again. Your Millie xxx.”
Grim Reaper formed in Droitwich, England, in 1979 after winning a local battle of the bands, which landed them a contract with Ebony Records. Their debut album, See You in Hell, was released in 1983, with a lineup that featured iron-lunged screamer Grimmett on vocals, founding guitarist Nick Bowcott, bassist Dave Wanklin and drummer Lee Harris. The latter was replaced by drummer Mark Simon on the band’s 1985 follow-up, Fear No Evil, with RCA Records releasing 1987’s Rock You to Hell.
The band split in 1988, with Grimmett going on to front U.K. thrash metal band Onslaught on their 1989 album In Search of Sanity, and then recording four albums with the more melodic hard rock band Lionsheart in the 1990s and early 2000s. Grimmett re-formed Reaper as Steve Grimmett’s Grim Reaper in 2006 using musicians who performed in his solo band, who backed him on the 2007 solo album Personal Crisis. The band toured Europe extensively in the 2000s and recorded their first studio album in more than 30 years, 2016’s Walking in the Shadows, followed by 2019’s At the Gates.
Earlier this year, the band toured South America, but in June Grimmett posted a note to American fans lamenting that the band would be unable to make it back to the States due to limited club slots in the wake of the pandemic. Instead, he said, he would focus on his other passion, building and flying radio-controlled model airplanes.
According to Blabbermouth, Grimmett’s death came five years after he had his right leg partially amputated when an infected wound on his foot spread to the bones in his leg in the midst of the band’s South American tour.
See the tributes and watch some of Grimmett’s epic live performances.