May 6, 2020: Brian Howe, Former Bad Company Frontman, Dies

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Brian Howe via his Facebook page

Brian Howe, who replaced Paul Rodgers as lead singer and songwriter for Bad Company for many years, died May 6, 2020, at age 66. Howe’s passing was confirmed by his longtime friend and manager, Paul Easton. Howe was found in his Lake Placid, Fla. home, suffering from cardiac arrest. Though EMT’s were able to have a short conversation with him, he slipped away, and they were unable to revive him. He had previously suffered a heart attack in 2017.

In 1986, when drummer Simon Kirke and guitarist Mick Ralphs decided to revive Bad Company, Rodgers was already involved with the supergroup, The Firm. The pair chose Howe to replace Rodgers as Bad Company’s lead singer, and he continued in that role until 1994. Their recordings included 1986’s Fame and Fortune, and 1988’s Dangerous Age, which went Gold in the U.S. and included several rock hits including “No Smoke Without a Fire” and “Shake it Up.”

The trio enjoyed their biggest post-Rodgers success with 1990’s Holy Water which yielded three big singles: “If You Needed Somebody,” “Walk Through Fire” and the title cut, each of which Howe co-wrote. The album returned Bad Company to Platinum-selling status.

Watch the video for “If You Needed Somebody”

Related: Our Album Rewind of Bad Company’s 1974 debut

Howe got his first big break in 1984 when Ted Nugent selected his powerful voice to sing lead on his Penetrator album.

Howe also recorded the 1993 live album What You Hear Is What You Get – The Best of Bad Company – Live. When he left Bad Company, he released several solo albums.

Howe was born July 22, 1953, in Portsmouth, England. He and his then-current band had several 2020 performances on their concert schedule.

Related: Musicians we lost in 2020

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3 Comments so far

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  1. John Rose
    #1 John Rose 8 May, 2020, 07:37

    It wasn’t really Bad Company without Paul Rodgers in my opinion but it was a really good band. Brian Howe could really rip a vocal. I saw them on their first tour opening for Deep Purple and it was a great show.

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  2. Jack
    #2 Jack 8 May, 2020, 12:48

    Brian howe was a damm good singer.but it wasn’t the bad company we knew previously.but still a good band that had good albums. Much was made about an adversarial relationship between kirke,ralphs and howe seems as though they all had enough of each other at the end of the partnership.nevertheless,they did put out some good music.r.i.p. brian howe!

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  3. Bright Bob
    #3 Bright Bob 28 November, 2020, 22:13

    God speed Brian…you were hot on a cold winter’s night in Ignacio,CO. 2002 !!

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