Close
Date TimeMarch 25, 2019
VoiceScott Walker, one of the most innovative and enduring songwriters of the 20th century, has died aged 76.
Scott Walker, experimental pop hero, dies aged 76
The news was announced by his label, 4AD. “For half a century, the genius of the man born Noel Scott Engel has enriched the lives of thousands,” a statement read. The cause of death has not been announced.
Thom Yorke, frontman of Radiohead, was among those paying tribute, calling him “a huge influence on Radiohead and myself, showing me how I could use my voice and words.”
Walker first came to fame in the mid-1960s in the group the Walker Brothers, before creating a string of acclaimed solo albums – Scott, Scott 2, Scott 3 and Scott 4 – that are regarded as some of the most adventurous and boundary-pushing pop albums of the era.
He then moved further out to the periphery of the music scene, with an increasingly experimental run of albums, including 1995’s Tilt and 2006’s The Drift, which reflected on Mussolini’s mistress, the Srebrenica massacre, and 9/11.
His most recent work was music composed for the Natalie Portman movie Vox Lux.
Walker was born Noah Scott Engel in Hamilton, Ohio in 1943, and grew up in California. In 1964, he teamed up with John Maus – who was naming himself John Walker – and became the duo the Walker Brothers. Their drummer Gary Leeds was a veteran from the nascent “swinging London” pop music scene, and persuaded them to relocate to London, where Walker has been based ever since.

They scored two No 1 hits with Make It Easy on Yourself and The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore), and their dapper, hirsute image earned them heart-throb status – their fanclub once had more members than that of the Beatles. “We would be on stage sometimes for a minute, and this whole gig would be over”, Walker once said of the screaming mania that surrounded them.
While their chart-topping hits were cover versions, Walker was also writing his own material, the pressure of which partly prompted the breakup of the group. “Everyone relied on me, and it just got on top of me. I think I just got irritated with it all,” he said – they disbanded in 1967.
“Initially, it was fantastic, and I learned so much,” he said of the era in an interview with the Guardian in 2018. “I got to work with huge orchestras and good budgets. But after a while, the formula – they still wanted the same thing. I had to figure out how we were going to get a song that’s going to do the same thing. And it wore itself out.”
Walker went solo, and continued to make symphonic 1960s pop, albeit with an epic, psychedelic, high-minded tone – The Seventh Seal, from Scott 4, reflected on the existential fantasies in Ingmar Bergman’s film of the same name.
In the 1970s, he reverted to cover versions for a string of albums, but then reunited with the Walker Brothers. Their albums included the highly regarded Nite Flights (1978), which featured four Walker-penned songs, with their shadowy moods and the use of electronics: it was to foreshadow the work he would do in the latter part of his career, where he used the same thoughtful, crooning voice of his Walker Brothers hits to darken and subvert pop.
Releases became more intermittent, but were often landmark works. Climate of Hunter (1984) saw him update his sound to match the digital pop of the decade, creating atmospheric soft rock; Tilt (1995) featured sweeping, experimental balladry. The Drift (2006) – which infamously featured the sound of meat being punched – began a late surge of work, including a 2014 collaboration with avant-metal band Sunn O))), Soused.
He also wrote a number of scores, including two recent films by Brady Corbet, The Childhood of a Leader and Vox Lux. In 2006, a documentary, 30 Century Man, was made about Walker – it was executive produced by David Bowie, and featured him alongside testimonies from Jarvis Cocker, Damon Albarn and Brian Eno. “Who knows anything about Scott Walker?”, Bowie wondered during the documentary, a reference to Walker’s relatively reclusive lifestyle.
Walker, for his part, felt that he was continually honing his work. “I can rate them, the albums, as I go along,” he told the Guardian in 2018. “Not the early ones, because I’ve no idea any more, but I can say the success rate of, say, Tilt, was about – from what I wanted to get – 65%. And then the next album was 75%, and on and on until I hit Soused, which was pretty perfect.”
Other artists have paid tribute. Cosey Fanni Tutti said it was “unbelievably sad”, Midge Ure described him as “the man with the mahogany voice”, while producer Nigel Godrich tweeted that he was “truly one of the greats”.
4AD’s statement continued: “From teen idol to cultural icon, Scott leaves to future generations a legacy of extraordinary music; a brilliant lyricist with a haunting singing voice, he has been one of the most revered innovators at the sharp end of creative music, whose influence on many artists has been freely acknowledged.”
Advertisement
Marc Almond wrote on Instagram that he was “absolutely saddened shocked” by the news. “He was enigmatic, mysterious and with some of his latter recordings, to me, infuriating. An absolute musical genius, existential and intellectual and a star right from the days of the Walker Brothers.”
Scott Walker, experimental pop hero, dies aged 76
Walker is survived by his partner Beverley, his daughter Lee, and his granddaughter Emmi-Lee.

Mel B Claims She Slept With Geri Halliwell During Spice Girls Era
‘Shazam!’ Film Review: DC Comics Gets a Bouncy Burst of Big-Screen Ebullience
Sydney Aiello, a survivor of the Parkland school shooting, dies by suicide
Larry Cohen, Writer-Director of 'It's Alive' and 'Hell Up in Harlem,' Dies at 77
Kylie Jenner Doubles Down On Being A 'Self Made' Billionaire
Robert Mueller report will be a gold mine of improprieties. Trump shouldn't celebrate yet
Brexit stitch up: Revoke Article 50 petition hits 4 million – could pass 5 million TONIGHT
Barbra Streisand criticized after saying experience 'didn't kill' Michael Jackson accusers
Persona 5: The Royal Announced for PS4
The Obamas Show Support For Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez's Engagement in the Sweetest Way
Trump to lift 'not necessary' North Korea sanctions, White House confirms
Historic Midwest flooding devastates Nebraska, Iowa
Brooke Henderson three back after opening round of LPGA Thailand
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Honor New Zealand Shooting Victims
Mike Trout and LA Angels close to $430m deal, largest in sports history
Donald Trump suggests Brazil could join Nato as he meets Jair Bolsonaro
Here’s how you’ll access Google’s Stadia cloud gaming service
Will Jennifer Lopez Use a Cheating Clause in Her Prenup With Alex Rodriguez?
Chelsea Clinton Apologizes To Students Who Blame Her For NZ Attack
Australian Senator Fraser Anning punches teen after being egged
Lewis Hamilton responds to Valtteri Bottas message after Australian GP battle
Taylor Swift debuts pink hair at iHeartRadio Music Awards
Glastonbury 2019 Line-Up Announced With The Killers And The Cure Joining Stormzy As Headliners
Tesla Model Y: Musk's latest electric vehicle is almost here
'Avengers: Endgame' recruits a familiar face to save the world in new trailer: 'Whatever it takes'
Mosque attacks spark outrage, fuel concern over Islamophobia
New Zealand shooting: PewDiePie reacts after gunman named him before Christchurch attack
New Zealand Shooting: At Least 49 Dead After Massacre At New Zealand Mosques
Crew of Soyuz launch abort set for second try
Why a Kardashian-Jenner Biopic May Be in Our Near Future
Netflix confirms Madeleine McCann documentary release date
F1 race director Charlie Whiting dead
Triple Frontier Review: As They Say, Greed Is a Bottomless Pit
South Florida native Lamar Jackson records Instagram video of himself driving 105 MPH
The Tesla Model Y Is Coming, But Who Is Ready For It?
Frank Cali, alleged boss of New York's Gambino mafia family, shot dead outside his Staten Island home
Beto O’Rourke says he is running for US president
Pi day: What is Pi Day? How have Google broken a world record for Pi?
Kendall Jenner wears Ben Simmons’ jersey at Philadelphia 76ers game
Altior wins the Champion Chase
Jay Leno: Late-Night Shows Are Too Political
Desperate Housewives actress Felicity Huffman among 50 people arrested over £19m college admissions scam
Johnny Depp ‘Overwhelmed’ By Fan Support After Amber Heard Lawsuit
May Day: UK Parliament rejects prime minister’s Brexit deal
Hannah Brown Is the New Star of The Bachelorette, And She Already Gave Out a Rose
AP sources: Browns acquire Odell Beckham Jr. from Giants
One of the Most Recorded Musicians in History Is Dead
Brexit: Legal risk of backstop remains 'unchanged' says Geoffrey Cox
UK parliament speaker does not select any amendments for Brexit vote
Disney's first full 'Aladdin' trailer drops and Will Smith shines in all his genie glory
‘I’ll ‘f–k you up’: Westbrook lashes out at heckling Jazz fan
New York attorney general is investigating Trump projects
MMA fighter Conor McGregor released from jail after being charged with robbery
Brexit: Corbyn asks for PM's withdrawal agreement update
Storm Gareth: warnings issued about power cuts and travel difficulties
Kylie Jenner and Jordyn Woods Are Reportedly Hanging Out Again
Elon Musk's late-night announcement to raise prices and reopen some stores
Trump to make $8.6 billion wall demand, triggering new standoff with Congress
Boeing 737 black box found as planes grounded after Ethiopian Airlines crash
Kelly Catlin, U.S. Olympic Medalist, Dies At Age 23
WATCH: Distressed Serena Williams forced to quit match against Garbine Muguruza after claiming she can't breath
Zinedine Zidane to replace Santiago Solari as Real Madrid manager in coming hours
Amendola joining Lions in search for slot option
New Report Claims Chatroom Involving Seungri And Other Male Singers Shared Illegal Hidden Camera Footage
Pete Buttigieg calls Vice President Pence a 'cheerleader for the porn star presidency'
Alex Rodriguez cheating on Jennifer Lopez? Jose Canseco rips retired Yankees star, wants to fight him
Emmy Rossum Leaves Shameless: What Happened to Fiona Gallagher?
Shocking interview surfaces of Fox News host Tucker Carlson praising ‘young girls sexually experimenting’
Ethiopian Airlines grounds all Boeing 737 Max 8 planes
George Foreman’s daughter found dead in her home
Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish punched by fan in derby win at Birmingham City
Jaguar attacks woman taking a photo at Wildlife World Zoo in Arizona
Roscosmos Chief, Elon Musk Exchange Courtesies After SpaceX Capsule Landing
'SNL': Pete Davidson compares R. Kelly to the Catholic Church, addresses dating Kate Beckinsale
Jennifer Lopez And Alex Rodriguez Announce Engagement With Massive Ring
Gemma Collins has compared herself to Lady Gaga
Steelers agree to trade Antonio Brown to Raiders
Brexiteer MPs say delay would be political calamity
Ethiopian Airlines plane crash: Disaster on flight to Kenya as multiple deaths reported
London to host Formula E finale in 2020
Tesla Drops 1st Real Image Of The Model Y As Event Invites Go Out
Anthony Yarde closes in on title shot as boxing returns to Albert Hall
Newark Airport halts all flights after emergency landing
Meghan Markle reveals whether she still looks at Twitter, hopes that her royal baby will be a feminist
Jordyn Woods Returns to Instagram, Likes Kylie Jenner's Post After Cheating Scandal
Tesla Investors Are Suing Over Elon Musk's Bad Tweets
Facebook only cares about privacy because it has to
United States citizens will need a visa to visit Europe starting in 2021
Chelsea Manning Jailed For Refusing To Testify Over WikiLeaks
Jussie Smollett Charged By Grand Jury Over Empire Star’s Alleged Hate Attack Hoax
'Airwolf' actor and '80s heartthrob Jan-Michael Vincent dies
Manuel Petrovic Charged With Murder Of 17-Year-Old Jodie Chesney
JSU, Murray State meet in OVC semis
Klay Thompson 'shooting the lights out', says former Celtic Ray Allen
Worried about Brexit? What, with these geniuses in charge? | Marina Hyde
The Queen Gives Meghan Markle a New Role on International Women's Day
North Korea rocket site is being monitored 'in real time,' U.S. official says
SpaceX Dragon crew capsule makes successful splashdown after test flight
Let's Use IWD To Talk About The Problematic Balance Of Women In Science
SpaceX Crew Dragon, built to carry humans, heads home from ISS
Justin Bieber Reacts to Shawn Mendes Liking Hailey Baldwin Photo
Paul Manafort Sentenced To Less Than 4 Years In Prison In Mueller Probe
International Women's Day Is Only Powerful If We Make It Inclusive
Album Review: Juice WRLD’s ‘Death Race for Love’
Microsoft is Giving Away a Captain Marvel Xbox One X
Steelers closing in on deal to send Antonio Brown to the Bills, according to report
Kim Kardashian-West Struts Through Paris In A See-Through Catsuit
Tristan Thompson 'dating model Karizma Ramirez' after 'cheating on Khloe Kardashian'
Charlotte Russe will liquidate and close all of its stores
Louis Tomlinson: New song Two Of Us helped me grieve for mum
Amber Rudd 'Mortified' After Calling Diane Abbott A 'Coloured Woman'
David Walliams honoured with special postbox on World Book Day
R. Kelly accused of raping 13-year-old, giving her herpes: report
Magenta Devine, presenter of Network 7 and Rough Guide, dies aged 61
'Tim Apple': Donald Trump gets name of tech giant's CEO wrong
LeBron James moves past Michael Jordan into fourth place on NBA scoring list
History's first all-female spacewalk will take place March 29
In Canada, two of Justin Trudeau’s ministers resigned. Let’s catch up on this scandal
Dictionary.com has beef with 'self-made' billionaire Kylie Jenner
Andy Murray pain-free after operation but cautious over playing prospects
Peter Beardsley leaves role as Newcastle under-23s coach
Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton reunite in first public appearance together since Christmas
Derry Girls Series 2: All the Lingo You Need To Know From 'Boke' To 'Slabber'
‘Game Of Thrones’ Creators Frantically Re-Shoot Finale To Make Peter Dinklage Death Seem Intentional
'It's not fair': R Kelly tearfully denies sex abuse allegations in tense interview
Final scores: Gordon Hayward and the Celtics thrash the Warriors 128-95 - Golden State of Mind
Kylie Jenner is now the world's youngest billionaire
Captain Marvel review – Brie Larson kicks ass across the universe
Runshaw college: Machete found after gang attack
MP Fiona Onasanya Could Lose Her Seat After Judges Refuse Conviction Appeal
Former White House lawyer Ty Cobb defends 'American hero' Robert Mueller, says investigation not a 'witch hunt'
Wendy Williams Returns to Talk Show After Two Months and Addresses Husband's Cheating Rumors
LeBron James: Lakers star BOOED after Clippers loss, playoff hopes 'over'
Carlos Ghosn: Former Nissan boss granted bail at 1 billion yen
Emmanuel Macron: Dear Europe, Brexit is a lesson for all of us: it’s time for renewal
King Kong Bundy dead: WWE hero dies aged 61 hours after posting tragic final tweet
Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper joins crowded 2020 Democratic field
The Latest: Trump: FEMA to give Alabama ‘A Plus treatment’
NHL legend Ted Lindsay dies at age 93
Keith Flint: Prodigy singer dies aged 49
Pete Davidson And Kate Beckinsale Kissing Pics Pretty Much Confirm They're Dating
Jodie Chesney murder: Police confirm two men carried out unprovoked attack
Laura Muir wins double-double to give Great Britain record medals tally
Christina Aguilera to tour UK for first time in 13 years
Tesla's $35,000 Model 3: Brilliant Move Or Hail Mary?
Democrats prepare for end of Robert Mueller probe with new investigations
Rodgers vows to make Vardy force to be reckoned with again
Johnny Depp says ex Amber Heard had affair with Elon Musk
Bernie Sanders returns to New York roots, says he can defeat Trump
D.K. Metcalf continues to burn up NFL scouting combine with blazing 40-yard dash
Ben Stiller, Bill Hader return to 'SNL' to lampoon Michael Cohen hearing
Jon Jones docked points for illegal knee, still cruises in title defense vs. Anthony Smith
SpaceX astronaut capsule demo for NASA lifts off
Elon Musk's SpaceX is near ready to launch humans into space
Johnny Depp Files $50 Million Lawsuit Against Amber Heard
Did Khloe Kardashian Just Defend Tristan Thompson on Twitter?
Galaxy S10, S10+ will come with pre-installed screen protector
Saudi Arabia revokes Hamza bin Laden's citizenship: 'This is an example of history rhyming'
Next to testify on hush-money payments: Sean Hannity?
Tesla stock tanks after Elon Musk unveils cheaper Model 3
Khloe Kardashian goes after Jordyn Woods following 'Red Table Talk' tell-all
LeBron James lacks CLASS slam NBA fans after Lakers star leaves game early in Bucks loss
SpaceX, NASA set to launch Crew Dragon flight today: All you need to know
NASA keeps sending rovers to Mars, and the Red Planet won't stop killing them
NASA Preps to Send Men Back to the Moon
Jennifer Garner Jokes About Not Being 'Cool' Anymore At Her Kid's Birthday
Elon Musk switched up his legal team and hired the lawyer who went after Enron to defend him against the SEC
Jason Witten rejoining Cowboys after year as broadcaster
Dallas Keuchel interest picks up with Bryce Harper off board
‘After Neverland’: Inside the Taping of Oprah Winfrey’s Look at Michael Jackson Abuse Allegations
BTS tickets for Wembley Stadium tour on sale today – prices, dates and how to buy
Chris Grayling At Centre Of Two Political Embarrassments On The Same Day
Jay Inslee, Governor of Washington, Launches Presidential Bid
Jared Kushner's team responds to report Trump 'ordered' security clearance for son-in-law
Tesla announces long-promised $35,000 Model 3
Hozier interview: 'I think the worst is yet to come with #MeToo and the music industry'
Jonas Brothers are back!
Solange Knowles Surprises Fans with This Big Announcement
After denying racism, videos of Meadows vowing to send Obama 'home to Kenya' resurface
Lisa Sheridan, ‘Halt and Catch Fire’ actress, dies at 44
Sally Challen wins appeal against murder conviction in landmark ruling
Stacey Dooley’s Comic Relief Filming Criticised By MP David Lammy In ‘White Saviourism’ Row
Junior minister George Eustice resigns over article 50 vote
Otto Warmbier: Trump says he believes Kim Jong-un was unaware of torture
Kyler Murray’s moment of truth: He’s taller than we thought
Oprah Winfrey to interview Michael Jackson’s accusers: report
North Korea leader Kim says ready to denuclearize
Cohen's testimony escalates Trump's legal troubles in New York
Selma Blair opens up about MS: 'People with disabilities are invisible'
Sensational Kyrgios downs Nadal in Mexico
Dull 'Dark Phoenix' Trailer Takes A Huge Risk With The 'X-Men' Series
Donald Trump hails ‘great leader’ Kim Jong-un at Hanoi summit
Is Meghan Markle Further Along Than Expected?
Larsa Pippen shades Jordyn Woods' various 'versions' of Tristan Thompson story
Jimmy Kimmel mocks Ivanka, thinks GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz's tweeted threat to Michael Cohen is 'kind of nice'
BritBox: the bizarre Netflix rival that will surely bomb
Labour doesn’t have zero tolerance of antisemitism if Chris Williamson is an MP
Pokémon Sword And Shield Revealed For Nintendo Switch, New Starters Shown
SpaceX Cleared to Launch Unmanned Crew Dragon Capsule to ISS on March 2
Donald Trump says his 'friend' Kim Jong Un can learn from Vietnam
Close