Steve Priest, the British bassist and singer best known for his stint in the band Sweet, has died at the age of 72.
The news was confirmed on the band’s official Facebook page in a message penned by Sweet’s guitarist Andy Scott.
“I am in pieces right now,” Scott wrote. “Steve Priest has passed away. His wife Maureen and I have kept in contact, and though his health was failing, I never envisaged this moment. Never. My thoughts are with his family.”
The guitarist went on to briefly recall his shared musical history with Priest, referring to him as “the best bass player I ever played with.” “The noise we made as a band was so powerful,” he recalled. “From that moment in the summer of 1970 when set off on our musical odyssey, the world opened up and the roller-coaster ride started!”
You can read Scott’s message in its entirety below.
Sweet ascended to worldwide fame in the ‘70s thanks to their distinct glam-rock style. Between 1971 and 1982, the group released a total of nine albums. The singles “Little Willy” (1972), “The Ballroom Blitz” (1973), “Fox on the Run” (1973) and “Love Is Like Oxygen” all peaked within the Top 10 of the U.S. chart, earning the English rockers a passionate fan base stateside.
Still, by the dawn of the ‘80s, the group’s popularity was waning. Sweet disbanded in 1982, though the group would be revived a few years later as Andy Scott’s Sweet. Priest, who had been living in the U.S. since 1979, declined to rejoin Scott in the project, instead focusing on session work with other musicians.
The bassist released an autobiography in 1994 titled Are You Ready, Steve? The book chronicled the rocker’s life and times as a member of Sweet. Priest constructed his own revival of the group in 2008, touring across the U.S. and playing a handful of festival dates. That incarnation released the concert album Live! in America in 2009.