The Prodigy were booked to perform at Glastonbury 2019 Emily Eavis confirms as frontman Keith Flint is found dead at his Essex home aged 49
- Singer and dancer found fame in the 1990s for his energetic performances and outlandish hairstyles
- Police and paramedics were called to his home in Essex this morning amid ‘concerns for his welfare’
- Flint, who was 49, was found unconscious inside the country property. Police have yet to say how he died
- Bandmate Liam Howlett posts: ‘I can’t believe I’m saying this but our brother Keith took his own life’
- Flint had taken to country life in recent years, riding around on a horse or a quad bike with a pack of dogs
Glastonbury’s co-founder Emily Eavis has confirmed The Prodigy were booked to perform at this summer’s festival, in a tribute posted to frontman Keith Flint.
Flint was found dead at his country home on Monday after taking his own life aged 49, heartbroken bandmates have said.
Posting on Twitter hours after the news was confirmed, Emily told fans the iconic electronic band had been booked for the 2019 festival, after previously headlining the world famous event in 1997 and 2009.
Loss: Glastonbury’s co-founder Emily Eavis has confirmed The Prodigy were booked to perform at this summer’s festival, in a tribute posted to frontman Keith Flint
‘We are so saddened to hear about the passing of Keith Flint. He’s played here so many times with the Prodigy and was booked for 2019,’ Emily wrote.
‘What an incredible frontman. Here’s a clip from ‘97 when they were the first dance band to headline Glastonbury – a huge, unforgettable moment,’ she continued alongside video of the band’s legendary performance.
The singer was discovered unconscious at the property near Dunmow, Essex at around 8am this morning, after police were called over what they described as ‘concerns for his welfare’.
Tragic: Flint was found dead at his country home on Monday after taking his own life aged 49, heartbroken bandmates have said
Paramedics attempted to resuscitate him but he was pronounced dead at the scene. Police have said they are not treating the death as suspicious.
Bandmate Liam Howlett wrote on the band’s Instagram page: ‘The news is true, I can’t believe I’m saying this but our brother Keith took his own life over the weekend. I’m shell shocked , f***** angry, confused and heart broken….. r.i.p brother’
Flint became one of the faces of 1990s rave when his energetic dance style and punk haircuts made him one of the chart’s most recognisable characters. His band were best known for their fast-paced songs including Firestarter, Breathe and Smack My B**** Up.
Flint, who was 49, was pictured with fans last month during a tour of Australia. His band planned to tour the US next month
The band posted this message on Instagram this morning, suggesting the star had taken his own life over the weekend
Neighbours at Flint’s rural home in Essex told of their shock at the news, saying they often saw him riding his horse about the village, running or cycling.
Jane Addison, who lives nearby and walks her dogs along a track next to the property every day, remembered Flint fondly as a ‘friendly’ animal-lover.
She said: ‘I don’t know how many dogs he had, maybe eight-ish dogs, and he’d go round the fields on his quad, and when he wanted them to come back to him he’d shout “eggs and bacon”… He had lots of birds, canaries… in an aviary.’
One local resident said: ‘I saw the air ambulance this morning and the police were round this morning – I’m just in shock.
‘He seemed alright, he just got back from his tour and goes out running everyday with his person l trainer. He is very fit.’
Police have not yet confirmed how the star, pictured (left) in 2011 and (right) in 2015, died. But they say the death is not being treated as suspicious
Another added: ‘He always put his hand up, always said hello, was always very pleasant. He was lovely, I met him a couple of times at drink dos, he was always very friendly and polite.
‘He was always very well spoken to members of the community. He liked to ride and loved his dogs, the image you might think of him with rings in his nose was wrong, he was really nice.’
An Essex Police spokesperson said: ‘We were called to concerns for the welfare of a man at an address in Brook Hill, North End, just after 8.10am on Monday
‘We attended and, sadly, a 49-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene. His next of kin have been informed. The death is not being treated as suspicious and a file will be prepared for the coroner.’
Flint (left), with bandmates Maxim and Liam Howlett at The Kerrang Awards in 2006
Flint’s outlandish style had mellowed in recent years. He is pictured, left, with wife Mayumi Kai in 2009, and right, in 2001
Flint was found dead at his mansion (pictured) in the Essex countryside this morning. Bandmates said he took his own life
Dogs could be heard barking outside the address this morning and police could be seen coming and going from the house
The local ambulance service said they also attended Flint’s house after he was found unconscious, but paramedics were unable to save him.
An East of England Ambulance spokeswoman said: ‘We were called at 8.08am with reports of a man who was unconscious in Brook Hill, Dunmow.
‘We sent an ambulance officer, Essex and Herts Air Ambulance and one ambulance. Sadly a man in his forties died at the scene.’
Singer fined drinkers at his country pub for Firestarter jokes
Keith Flint was known for his sense of humour among villagers in Essex after he moved to the country a decade ago.
The singer bought the Leather Bottle pub in Pleshey, Essex in 2014.
Local journalist Steve Anglesey told today how he would keep a money box above the fire place and charge drinkers if they made a joke about his famous Firestarter hit.
Mr Anglesey tweeted: ‘Whenever he put the logs and kindling in and someone piped up with the obvious joke, he’d point to it and charge them a quid.’
Flint’s bandmate’s said in a statement on Twitter: ‘It is with deepest shock and sadness that we can confirm the death of our brother and best friend Keith Flint.
‘A true pioneer, innovator and legend. He will be forever missed. We thank you for respecting the privacy of all concerned at this time.’
Meanwhile, stars from around the world of music and showbusiness reacted with sadness to news of Flint’s death this morning.
Actress Kathy Burke tweeted: ‘He did what all music stars are meant to do; he frightened your mums and dads. RIP Keith Flint.’
Ed Simons of The Chemical Brothers tweeted: ‘Oh gosh, so sad to hear about Keith Flint, he was always great fun to be around and very kind to Tom and I when we first started doing shows together.. great man.’
Radio broadcaster Jo Whiley tweeted: ‘Oh this is sad news. The death of Keith Flint. Whenever our paths crossed he was an absolute sweetheart. Really lovely. Incredible iconic frontman with a soft centre. #RIPKeithFlint.’
Electronic music duo Chase and Status said: ‘Absolutely devastated to hear the tragic news that the legend Keith Flint from @the-prodigy has passed away.
‘Our thoughts & condolences are with all his friends and family. We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Keith and the life changing music they made and championed. RIP.’
DJ Nick Grimshaw posted this photo of the star in the Firestarter video and told how The Prodigy changed his life
A number of stars from the world of music have paid tribute to Flint online, calling him ‘iconic, legendary and innovative’
The Prodigy had recently returned to the UK from a tour of Australia and were planning to head out to South and North America for a series of concerts next month.
They planned to tour a number of festivals in Europe this summer before playing at Clapham’s South West Four event in August.
In an interview in November, bandmate Liam Howlett insisted they were not a ‘retro band’ and strived to give their newest music a freshness.
He said: ‘We’re not a band that are embarrassed of our roots. We own that sound, we created it. We’re not interested in reinventing ourselves, because we’re happy with ourselves – we don’t need to.’
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How The Prodigy were banned by the BBC: Hit songs Smack My B**** Up and Firestarter sparked huge controversy over their violent lyrics with TV stations refusing to play videos pre-watershed
With their graphic lyrics, ear-shattering sound and shocking music videos, The Prodigy took the music world by storm when they burst onto the scene in the early 1990s.
Their fame among young fans was aided by a series of controversies around their music, which teenagers loved to blare out in their bedrooms and crank up at house parties.
Their 1997 hit Smack My B**** Up was banned by the BBC and only a lyric-free version was played on Radio 1.
The video, which showed a reveller’s-eye view of a debauched night of sex, drugs and violence was initially restricted to late-night only on MTV.
The song was voted the most controversial song of all time in a poll conducted by the Performing Right Society (PRS) in 2010.
Firestarter also got a mixed reception, with outraged parents bombarding Top Of The Pops with letters, complaining that Flint was ‘scaring’ their children.
The Prodigy were one of the most famous acts to emerge from the 1990s underground rave scene and go mainstream
The Prodigy, pictured left in 1997, grew out of the underground rave scene. Flint carried his inimitable style into later life
Keith Charles Flint was born on September 17 1969 in Redbridge, East London. As a child he moved to Braintree, Essex, where he met The Prodigy co-founder Liam Howlett at a nightclub.
They discussed music and realised they shared a taste for harder, club-ready sounds.
Originally a dancer for the group, Flint was promoted to singer after he provided the vocals on the band’s song Firestarter, a track which propelled them to the mainstream.
When the band released the video for the 1996 single, Flint’s performance was deemed too scary for children – meaning many music TV stations wouldn’t play it until after 9pm.
Alongside band-mates Howlett and Maxim, Flint – known for his energetic and deranged performance style, shocking green hair and tattoos – became the face of British rave.
While the group were spoken of as bedfellows with other commercial dance acts like The Chemical Brothers and Fatboy Slim, they pioneered a harsher, more abrasive sound.
The group reached the height of their fame in 1996, when hits Breathe and Firestarter reached the top of the charts
They reached number one in the singles charts with tracks Firestarter and Breathe in 1996, and went on to score seven number one albums.
But these songs were not usual dance pop fodder, instead drawing from sonic sounds inspired by the UK’s illegal rave scene.
Known for their overt anti-establishment stance as much for their music, The Prodigy were vocal critics of the UK’s Criminal Justice And Public Order Act 1994, which banned the raves popularised following the so-called second summer of love in 1988 and 1989.
And despite being accepted by the mainstream, they never submitted to the whims of passing musical fashion.
The Essex band has never wholly belonged to any genre. Whether it was the emergent rave scene at the start of the nineties, Britpop later in the decade through to more recent dubstep and EDM – they were lurking, all the time selling millions of records and just as many tickets for their incendiary live shows.
As well as being famous for his music, fast-living Flint also raced bikes as a speedway racer. He is pictured racing in 2013
In 2014 Flint bought and renovated The Leather Bottle pub in the Essex village of Pleshey.
He reportedly had a jar that customers had to put a pound into every time they made a ‘firestarter’ joke when he lit the pub’s fire.
The group released their seventh consecutive number one album in November 2018.
All but one of their studio albums hit the top spot in the UK charts, as well as a singles collection released in 2005.
This placed them alongside musical heroes including Sir Elton John, Sir Paul McCartney, Coldplay and George Michael, each with seven number one records.
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