He Never Wanted to Be a Music Icon. He Became One Anyway

Talk Talk's Mark Hollis dead at age 64: reports
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2019 6:40 PM CST

The frontman and creative mind behind the UK's Talk Talk has reportedly died at the age of 64. Per the Guardian, Anthony Costello, believed to be a relative of Mark Hollis', tweeted Monday, "RIP Mark Hollis. Cousin-in-law. Wonderful husband and father. Fascinating and principled man. Retired from the music business 20 years ago but an indefinable musical icon." The Consequence of Sound notes that ex-Talk Talk bassist Paul Webb posted his own goodbye on his Facebook page, acknowledging his former bandmate's "genius" and adding, "He knew how to create a depth of feeling with sound and space like no other. He was one of the greats, if not the greatest."

Per the Daily Beast, Hollis was more than just a singer for the group that put out hits such as "It's My Life," "Talk Talk," and "Such a Shame"—he also penned their songs and played guitar and piano, and without Hollis, "there would arguably be no Radiohead, no Sigur Ros, no Explosions in the Sky, no post-rock." The Daily Beast also calls Hollis the "transcendental musical icon who never wanted to be one," noting how he and the group poked fun of the MTV culture of the '80s and pooh-poohed the more commercial trappings of their industry, trying to buck the pressures of the day to stay true to their music. Hollis put out one solo album in 1998, the self-titled Mark Hollis. (More obituary stories.)

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