Steve Strange, Co-Founder of X-ray Touring, Dies at 53

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Steve Strange, a founding partner at U.K.-based booking agency X-ray Touring, has died following a short illness. He was 53.

“We have lost a legendary figure in our personal and professional lives that we will all deeply miss,” X-ray Touring said in a statement. “Steve was a unique individual within our industry, his overwhelming love of music lead to a 30 year plus career guiding the touring of an eclectic mix of artists from all genres of music that he adored.”

Details about the cause of Strange’s death were not available at press time.

The talent agency added: “A universally known, hugely respected and loved character — if you hadn’t already seen him at a gig or festival, you’d most certainly hear his infectious and infamous laugh. Steve had the best ears in the agency business, signing and developing the careers of countless world class Artists from small club venues to vast international multi-stadium tours. He will always be remembered with love by his friends & colleagues at X-ray and the world over.”

Over the years, Strange’s client roster at X-ray included such artists as Coldplay, Eminem, Snow Patrol, Chance the Rapper, Queens of the Stone Age, and many others. He also operated Strange World Management, overseeing acts like Lightning Seeds, Last in Line Wayward Sons, FM, Equador and Sweet Savage.

Strange got his musical start in the late 1980s as the drummer for British band No Hot Ashes. He went on to work for several booking agencies and promoters before landing at John Giddings’ Solo Agency and later Helter Skelter. In 2005, he partnered with Ian Huffam, Scott Thomas, Jeff Craft and Martin Horne to launch x-Ray Touring.

Numerous music industry executives and artists mourned Strange’s death following news of his passing.

“I can’t believe we have lost Steve Strange,” UTA head of worldwide touring Neil Warnock said in a statement. “He was an absolute icon in the world of music. He was a fan of all music genres who was at the top of his game. I’ve lost a true friend and the industry has lost a larger-than-life character.“

Ed Sheeran also took to his Instagram Story to remember the late booking agent. “A very sad day, and a huge loss x,” the English singer-songwriter wrote.

Coldplay remembered Strange as “a giant of the music industry and the cornerstone for so many bands’ and artists’ careers, including ours” on Instagram.

The band added, “Never afraid to talk straight and fight for his artists, you always heard him before you saw him and you knew you were in for a good evening. We spent a bittersweet hour with him last week. Despite his illness he was still taking calls and watching ticket counts.”

See more artist tributes to Strange below.

Rest in the music dear Steve Strange. Fine promoter and a great friend to musicians around the globe. You will be missed sir.

— Garbage (@garbage) September 24, 2021

Incredibly sad to hear Steve Strange has passed on , he was a good friend of many years and also our agent , to us he was more like a guardian angel benefactor than agent at times , warmth and humanity were his overwhelming qualities, he will be forever missed

— my bloody valentine (@MBVofficial) September 25, 2021

Terrible news one of the truly great people in this world has passed. Steve Strange was my agent for nearly 20 years and he always had my back. Heartbroken

— mark lanegan (@marklanegan) September 24, 2021

We are all heartbroken that our beloved agent has sadly passed away. Steve Strange RIP

— The Charlatans (@thecharlatans) September 25, 2021

Absolutely heartbreaking news about Steve Strange. Our agent, our friend and one of life’s most gloriously upbeat people. You will be missed, celebrated and remembered so fondly. Goodnight big man x x

— Tim Burgess (@Tim_Burgess) September 25, 2021

So sad to hear the news of Steve Strange passing. If you’ve seen us play anywhere outside of the US you’ve him to thank and we’d be nowhere near where we are without his tireless work and infectious laugh! So many unshareable stories. RIP Strangey x

— Frightened Rabbit (@FRabbits) September 25, 2021

Very sad to hear of Steve Strange passing. Lovely bloke, great agent. RIP Steve #GoneTooSoon

— Geezer Butler (@geezerbutler) September 25, 2021

(1/2) So shocked to hear of the tragic passing of my dear friend and live agent Steve Strange, a true legend in live music and a totally unique and individual character, who lived for music.

— UNKLE (@unkleofficial) September 25, 2021

We lost our friend Steve Strange today. I’m thinking about him and the laughs we shared. He was very special and big hearted & I will truly miss him.

— joyformidable (@joyformidable) September 25, 2021

Ah man…. so so sad to hear that our friend and agent Steve Strange of @xraytouring has passed. RIP buddy. J K x

— The Ting Tings (@TheTingTings) September 25, 2021

Profoundly shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of Steve Strange of @XrayTouring – an absolute giant of the industry and a kind and friendly heart. RIP.

— Frank Turner (@frankturner) September 24, 2021

So sad to hear the news about music agent and industry legend Steve Strange passing. He was always so kind to us here at Glastonbury and a lovely man to deal with. We will miss you sir and your infectious laugh.

— Emily Eavis (@emilyeavis) September 25, 2021

Our hearts are broken. Goodnight Mr. Steve Strange. Agent extraodinaire. The heart of a lion. Straight outta Carrick, he changed this business forever. Our force. Our constant source. Our Shining Light. Miss you like crazy Strangey.

— ASH (@ashofficial) September 25, 2021

Rest In Peace to my former agent, Steve Strange, he did so much, and helped our group in so many ways in , more than that, he did the same for a lot of my friends and peers. My condolences

— anton newcombe (@antonnewcombe) September 25, 2021

soul, classic soul, motown,