Steve Mackey, Bassist for the British Rock Band Pulp, Dead at 56

Steve Mackey, pulp
Steve Mackey, pulp

Mindy Best/Getty Steve Mackey

Steve Mackey, bassist for the British rock band Pulp and music producer, died on Tuesday due to illness. He was 56.

The musician's wife, Katie Grand, first shared the news of his death via Mackey's Instagram account.

"After three months in hospital, fighting with all his strength and determination, we are shocked and devastated to have said goodbye to my brilliant, beautiful husband, Steve Mackey," Grand wrote, before noting that he's survived by her as well as "his son Marley, parents Kath and Paul, sister Michelle and many friends."

The Perfect magazine director continued, "Steve was the most talented man I have ever known, an exceptional musician, producer, photographer and filmmaker. As in life, he was adored by everyone whose paths he crossed in the multiple creative disciplines he conquered."

Steve Mackey, pulp
Steve Mackey, pulp

Mick Hutson/Redferns/Getty Pulp

"I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to all the NHS staff who worked tirelessly for Steve. He will be missed beyond words," concluded Grand's note.

Mackey's exact cause of death is currently unknown.

Born Nov. 10, 1966 in South Yorkshire, England, Mackey was best known for his work with Pulp. He joined the "Common People" group in 1989, made his first contributions to the 1992 album Separations.

Mackey then contributed to the band's four subsequent albums, 1994's His 'n' Hers, 1995's Different Class, 1998's This Is Hardcore and 2001's We Love Life, all of which charted top-10 in the U.K. Following a hiatus that began in 2002, the group reunited for a 2011/2012 tour and then released their final recording, 2013's demo "After You."

The bassist opted not to rejoin Pulp for a summer 2023 reunion tour, noting that he was "exceptionally proud" of their music but wanted to focus on his "music, film-making and photography projects," per The Guardian.

Aside from Pulp, Mackey worked prominently as a songwriter, producer and remixer for artists including M.I.A., Kelis, Arcade Fire, Florence + the Machine and others.

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Mackey's Pulp bandmates paid tribute to him with a tweet posted from their official account Thursday, featuring a photo of the bassist hiking, taken during their 2011/2012 reunion.

"This photo of Steve dates from when Pulp were on tour in South America in 2012. We had a day off & Steve suggested we go climbing in the Andes. So we did," wrote the group. "& it was a completely magical experience. Far more magical than staring at the hotel room wall all day (which is probably what we'd have done otherwise)."

The band continued, "Steve made things happen. In his life & in the band. & We'd very much like to think that he's back in those mountains now, on the next stage of his adventure. Safe travels, Steve. We hope to catch up with you one day."