Steve Grimmett, lead vocalist for ‘80s British metal act Grim Reaper, has died at the age of 62.
The vocalist’s passing was reported by his brother, Mark Grimmett. "I don't really know where to start so I guess I will just come right out with it,” Grimmett wrote on social media. “It is with great sadness and a very heavy heart that I have to tell you all as many of you know him my very talented brother Steve Grimmett very sadly passed away today, my heart goes out to Millie his wife my Mum and Dad, Russell , Sami and Ethan. I will miss you more than words will ever say , love you bro xx."
Russell Grimmett added on Facebook: “We can’t begin to put into words the current feelings. But as dad was so well known the news is starting to reach out earlier than we would have liked. Unfortunately, our dad passed away today and leaves a massive hole in the world and our hearts. We are utterly heartbroken. Sleep tight dad. We always love you xxx.”
Formed in 1979 in Droitwich, England, by guitarist Nick Bowcott, Grim Reaper achieved success with their first three albums, 1983's See You in Hell, 1985's Fear No Evil and 1987's Rock You to Hell. In the 1990s, the band underwent something of a renaissance with a new generation of music fans when several of their videos were featured on Beavis and Butt-Head. in the 1990s. While the band went through numerous lineup changes over the years, Grimmett, who joined in 1982, remained their sole constant member.
Under Grimmett’s direction, the band released their most recent album, At the Gates (sometimes credited to Steve Grimmett’s Grim Reaper), in 2019. Several years earlier, Grimmett had his right leg partially amputated when an infected wound on his foot spread to the bones in his leg while on tour in South America. Grimmett underwent life-saving surgery in Ecuador, with fans raising $14,000 to help bring him home.
Producer Max Norman, who worked with the band on Rock You to Hell, also commented. "Very distressed to hear that old friend and singer for Grim Reaper, Steve Grimmett has left us," he wrote. "A terrific vocalist, and all around perfect gentleman – you will be missed my friend. Condolences to Mark and Millie and friends and family – a very very sad loss…"
Grimmett's long time band mate, Nick Bowcott, meanwhile, posted a long tribute on his Facebook page, which can be read in full below.
STEVE GRIMMETT (Aug 18th, 1959 - Aug 15th, 2203): REST IN PEACE, MATE. REST IN PEACE...
This heartbreaking news has rendered me speechless ever since it was broken to me. And, to be frank, it has literally broken me, soI'm just gonna let the words flow and see what happens...
Only the good die young - or so it is said. At the age of 62, Steve was young - too darned young. And, he wasn't just good - he was GREAT - freaking great: not only as a singer, but as a human being. IMHO, the only thing bigger than his amazing voice was his heart.
As a metal fledgling, I first became (very aware!) of Steve in a local "rival" band - he was in Medusa and I was in the band I co-founded, Grim Reaper. The reason I put "" around the word rival is because we actually weren't! Grim Reaper cheered on Medusa and vice-versa.
Through good fortune (actually, I feel "destiny" is a better word), a few years later, Steve joined Grim Reaper and due to his voice, Reaper's music morphed from something that was very much Thin Lizzy & Van Halen inspired, to pure melodic metal Metal a la Maiden and, of course, the mighty Priest. Then we co-wrote "See You In Hell" and everything slowly but surely changed...forever.
I was forever blessed to go from sleeping in the back of a dodgy van playing any English pub that would have us, to getting a deal with RCA and touring America - not just once but three times. We wrote and recorded three albums together that I am incredibly proud of, before a law suite from the bottom-feeding owner of the nothing English label we signed to, halted us in our tracks. The law suite was eventually thrown out of court and the guy went bankrupt (karma is a bitch and it has no deadline) but the took years and by then, Steve was in Onslaught and I'd been relocated to the US by RCA.
We remained good friends and he eventually, with my blessing, carried the GR flag under the moniker "Steve Grimmett's Grim Reaper." The SG was dropped and it simply became Grim Reaper whenever I could join him on stage - be it in Chicago, Phoenix, Fort Wayne, Sweden or the legendary Whisky in LA...and selling out the latter in 2017 was a huge "Bucket List" tick.
I've always said that my 5 favorite metal singers are: Rob Halford, Ronnie James Dio, John Bush, David Wayne and - of course, Steve. Yep, IMHO he was, is and always will be that freaking good. Still can't believe he's gone - and my heart, thoughts and prayers are with his dear wife, Millie, his family, loved ones and friends....damn.
Heaven came down today and took back an angel with a mighty roar. What a man, what a voice, what an honor, what a pleasure. Thanks for everything Steve, mate - you will be forever missed and your voice will always live one. Until we meet again - Rest In Peace, my dear, dear friend and comrade in metal arms.