Star of 'Make Me Smile,' Cockney Rebel vocalist Steve Harley dies at 73.  

GLAM-ROCK band Cockney Rebel's "Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)" was an enduring classic, and British musician Steve Harley has passed away. The man was 73 years old.

According to his family's statement on Sunday, Harley "passed away peacefully at home, with his family by his side." Late last year, Harley revealed that he was undergoing treatment for "a nasty cancer."

Harley began reading and composing poetry during the nearly four years he spent in the hospital as a youngster after catching polio; he was born in London in 1951. Before starting his playing career at folk clubs in London, he was a trainee accountant and a journalist for local newspapers.

He co-founded Cockney Rebel in 1973 and led the band until its dissolution due to artistic differences; the album's debut, "The Human Menagerie," came out that year. "The Best Years of Our Lives," the band's 1975 album that featured Harley's biggest hit, was released with a new lineup and rebranded as Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel.

The Alan Parsons–produced track "Make Me Smile" came out on top in the UK singles chart thanks to its earworm chorus and scathing lyrics, which targeted Harley's former comrades. "The Full Monty" (1997), Carlsberg beer, Marks & Spencer, and Viagra were among the many films and commercials that featured the song. It went on to be covered numerous times and featured on innumerable soundtracks.

Along with Sarah Brightman, Harley recorded the lead vocals on the 1986 single "The Phantom of the Opera" from Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical. Michael Crawford eventually replaced him in the lead role of the show. "I Can't Even Touch You," Harley's 1982 single, was produced by Ultravox frontman Midge Ure, who praised him as a "real 'working musician.'"

Ure shared a nostalgic story about how the musician continued to perform for followers both old and new on social media. During this difficult time, my deepest sympathies are with Dorothy and his family. Despite our mortality, our music will endure in perpetuity.

Dorothy, Harley's wife, Kerr and Greta, and four grandkids are among his survivors. In their statement, his loved ones expressed their understanding that he will be "desperately missed by people all over the world."

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