LONDON, England -- Joe Strummer, lead singer for seminal British punk band the Clash, has died at the age of 50.
Strummer, who was the band's guitarist, vocalist and songwriter alongside Mick Jones, died on Sunday at his farmhouse in Somerset, southwestern England.
A statement released by his record label said Strummer "died peacefully at his home." It added that his wife Lucy, two daughters and stepdaughter "request privacy at this harrowing time."
He had been touring with his most recent band The Mescaleros until last month, rounding off a tour in Liverpool.
Hein van der Rey, managing director of Epitaph Records, which had produced two albums for Strummer's current band, The Mescaleros, said he learned of the death on Monday morning.
"We do not know the circumstances. It is pretty devastating news," he told The Associated Press, adding that Strummer had been working on a third album with The Mescaleros.
Police said his death was not believed to be suspicious and a post-mortem examination will take place on Tuesday.
A spokesman for Avon and Somerset Police told the Press Association: "We believe police did attend as the death at the farmhouse in Broomfield near Bridgwater was sudden."
Strummer, born John Mellor in Ankara, Turkey, and the Clash burst onto the British punk scene in the late 1970s on the heels of fellow countrymen and punk rockers The Sex Pistols and are considered by many to be the definitive British punk band.
Often mixing politics with frantic music, the band's hits included "London Calling," "Rock the Casbah," and "Should I Stay or Should I Go."
The Clash are scheduled to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, on March 10, along with AC/DC, the Police, Elvis Costello and the Attractions and the Righteous Brothers.
Strummer also enjoyed a successful solo career after the Clash broke up in 1985, dabbling in acting and writing music for films.
U2 frontman Bono said: "The Clash was the greatest rock band. They wrote the rule book for U2.
"Though I was always too much of a fan to get to know him well, we were due to meet in January to finish our Mandela song with Dave Stewart. It's such a shock," he told the Press Association.
"Verhoeven's _Starship Troopers_: Based on the back cover of the book by Robert Heinlein."
Joe Strummer, George Harrison, Joey and DeeDee Ramone, Layne Staley, John Entwhistle... This is too many, too fast.
And every single day, Eminem continues to breathe air into his body, and people try to pretend this is s a just world.
"Every Who down in Who-Ville liked Christmas a lot, but the Grinch who lived in a cave just north of Who-Ville did not. So, the US sent B-2s to take him out - but, to our suprise, the Whos, who we thought we our allies, snuck the Grinch out inside a hollow Roast Beast. So, all we nabbed were low-level operatives, like the Zizzer Zazzer-Zuzz, who we shipped to Guantanamo Bay (and we have solid leads on the whereabouts of David Donald Doo and his Duck Dog too).
Then we accidenly killed the Cat In The Hat when an unmanned drone mistook him for the Grinch. Frustrated in our hunt, we then threatened to invade the Jungle of Newell unless Horton the Elephant agreed to an UN Arms Inspection.
Then we figured out that Sam I Am was funneling profits from his Green Eggs and Ham business into secret Grinch accounts - and we arrested One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish and Blue Fish who were running a sleeper cell in Buffalo! And still no clue about the Grinch, even though the CIA suspects that he masterminded the recent bombings on the street where the grickle grass grows that killed The Lorax and a group of Fiffer-Feffer-Feffs! And then...
...Aw, to hell with it, kid. Go read "Frosty The Snowman" instead" -----DERF www.derfcity.com
I remember seeing London Calling in a bargain bin many many years ago. The cool punk behind the counter saw this kid examining it and said "you should get it man ... it's one of the best albums I've ever heard." (Yeah, this was back when vinyl was king). So I took a chance on it, and I really should praise Allah every day that I did. Opened my eyes completely to how good rock n' roll can be.
I really wish rock bands today would rip off the Clash more. It would make listening to top 40 radio just a little less painful.
Wake up the dawn and ask her why, she dreams a dream she never dies; Wipe that tear away from your eye.
Joe Strummer was a legend. The Clash was the only punk band I would really listen too, mostly because of Strummer's vocals. "London Calling" is, IMHO, one of the greatest albums in rock history. Godspeed, Joe.
"Ensign Kodos, set coordinates for the obscure, T-shirt producing planet of Earth. We are going to visit... MY DAUGHTER!" -- Kang
Joe Strummer's death truly makes me sadder than anyone will ever know. I have held out a long time for a Clash reunion and I thought we might even see one at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony in March. Sadly, that's not going to happen. Strummer transcends punk. Bands like U2, Rage Against the Machine, and even System of a Down are rooted in the Clash.
Good luck Joe. Remember, "when they kick in your front door, how are you gonna come?"
iTunes Top Downloads -- March 15, 2009 This is a moment in time snapshot of the current top downloads from iTunes. We take a snapshot each week at the same time and post it here. To preview the songs, click on a link.