Steve Strange, widely respected live agent and co-founder of X-ray Touring, has died following a short illness. He was 53.

A statement from X-ray issued last night reads: “We have lost a legendary figure in our personal and professional lives that we will all deeply miss.

“Steve was a unique individual within our industry, his overwhelming love of music lead to a 30 year plus career guiding the touring of an eclectic mix of artists from all genres of music that he adored.  A universally known, hugely respected and loved character – if you hadn’t already seen him at a gig or festival, you’d most certainly hear his infectious and infamous laugh.

“Steve had the best ears in the agency business, signing and developing the careers of countless world class Artists from small club venues to vast international multi-stadium tours.

“He will always be remembered with love by his friends & colleagues at X-ray and the world over.”

Strange’s artist roster down the years has included Eminem, Coldplay, Snow Patrol, Queens of the Stone Age, The Charlatans, Jimmy Eat World and many more.

Northern Irishman Strange launched X-Ray touring in 2005 alongside co-founders Ian Huffam, Jeff Craft, Scott Thomas and Martin Horne.

Tributes from the music industry have poured in for Strange after news of his passing emerged yesterday.

Emma Banks of Creative Artists Agency (CAA) [50 articles]”>CAA wrote on social media: “Steve Strange – a truly good and loving person without a bad bone in his body. The life and soul of every occasion, a music man to the core and dedicated to his clients, friends and family.

“If you knew him you will understand why everyone is devastated by his passing and if you didn’t know him you missed out big time.”

Last month, X-ray extended its partnership with investment firm The Yucaipa Companies, and formed a new strategic alliance with Artist Group International (AGI), part of Yucaipa’s Y Entertainment Group.

Among a roster of over 400 acts, X-ray also represents artists such as Robbie Williams, Gorillaz, Linkin Park, Pixies, Stereophonics, Bombay Bicycle Club, Phoebe Bridgers, The Internet, The Offspring, Enter Shikari and Fever 333.Music Business Worldwide

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