R.I.P. Talk Talk's Mark Hollis
The esteemed musician was 64
While there has been no announcement via the artist's official channels, the news has quickly spread on Twitter, with many already penning tributes to the artist. So far his cause of death remains unclear, but Hollis would have been 64.
UPDATE (2/26, 9 a.m. EST): Hollis' former manager, Keith Aspden confirmed the news to BBC. "Sadly, it's true," he said. "Mark has died after a short illness from which he never recovered."
News of Hollis' death first came from author/academic Anthony Costello, who states Hollis is part of his extended family. The news was soon echoed by peers The The and Dead Can Dance, as well as from director Tim Pope, who helmed some Talk Talk videos.
In a Facebook post, Talk Talk bassist Paul Webb then seemingly confirmed the news of Hollis' passing, writing, "I am very shocked and saddened to hear the news of the passing of Mark Hollis. Musically he was a genius and it was a honour and a privilege to have been in a band with him. I have not seen Mark for many years, but like many musicians of our generation I have been profoundly influenced by his trailblazing musical ideas. 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."
You can see their various posts about Hollis' reported passing below, as well as a growing collection of tributes from musical peers and admirers.
Hollis co-founded Talk Talk in 1981 alongside Lee Harris and Paul Webb. Hollis served as the group's singer and primary songwriter, leading the band through early albums such as 1982's The Party's Over, 1984's It's My Life and 1986's The Colour of Spring. Among the group's early hits were such '80s-night staples as "Talk Talk," "Such a Shame" and "It's My Life."
But while Talk Talk started as a new wave-influenced synth-pop group, the band soon branched out into much more experimental territory, embracing an ethereal and minimalist art-rock style that would go on to influence countless dream-pop groups.
This change in direction gave birth to such albums as 1988's Spirit of Eden and 1991's Laughing Stock, which emerged as not only one of the band's finest albums but also became their swan song. In 1992, Talk Talk announced their breakup.
And while Hollis stated that Talk Talk disbanded so he could focus on his family, he returned to music for his celebrated self-titled solo album in 1998. Hollis later emerged once again in 2012 to give us an instrumental piece for Kelsey Grammer's Boss TV show.
Stay tuned for further details on Hollis' passing and check out various tribute posts below.
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.— Anthony Costello (@globalhlthtwit) February 25, 2019
Talk Talk - It's My Life (Live at Montreux 1986) https://t.co/eGRfLWHt6r
Big love and Godspeed Mark Hollis pic.twitter.com/bVIXIC3sBd— JAGJAGUWAR (@jagjaguwar) February 25, 2019
mark hollis was a genius. nobody made music that sounded like his. please spend time listening to his work. this one hurts. badly. pic.twitter.com/y3DXJvASIz— Stars (@youarestars) February 25, 2019
Goodbye to Mark Hollis of Talk Talk. Condolences to his lovely family. We had many, many laughs together. This is us being the nightmare interview from hell https://t.co/xzqfQnN4P6— Tim Pope🎥 (@timpopedirector) February 25, 2019
Mark Hollis captured so many of us with his haunting approach to song and the compelling ways he presented simplistic mountains of sound. He was an educator of emotion and a voice for the blood throat shadows of tomorrow. This is a loss amongst many.— Broken Social Scene (@bssmusic) February 25, 2019
Mark Hollis— Xiu Xiu (@XiuXiuforLife) February 26, 2019
that is a voice we cannot spare to have lost
thank you ghost genius
Music is the remedy.— Andy Kim (@AndyKimMusic) February 25, 2019
Just the truth.
Talk Talk is the truth.
Their music was played so many times in my house and I never tire of it.
Heaven bless you in your calm
Heaven bless you, Mark Hollis. pic.twitter.com/BNmoTQZtkc
I always wanted to meet Mark Hollis & say thank you for his music. Hope he knew how much he meant to so many of us. RIP 🖤— Yannis Philippakis (@YnnsPhilippakis) February 25, 2019