Karl Wallinger, Frontman of World Party, Passes Away at 66

Karl Wallinger, the lead singer of World Party, has died at the age of 66. The Welsh musician, renowned for his contributions to the Britpop scene, including hits like “Ship of Fools,” “Put the Message in the Box,” and “Is It Like Today?” passed away on Sunday, as confirmed by a representative for Wallinger in a statement to PEOPLE on Monday.

Karl Wallinger, Frontman of World Party, Passes Away at 66
Karl Wallinger, Frontman of World Party, Passes Away at 66

Born on October 19, 1957, in Prestatyn, Wales, Wallinger later grew up in Surrey, England. His musical journey began in the late ’70s when he served as the musical director for the West End production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. He then joined the folk-rock band The Waterboys in 1984, appearing on two of their albums.

In 1987, Wallinger embarked on his solo project, World Party, which garnered him international recognition for its funky, psychedelic sound. The debut album, “Private Revolution,” produced the hit single “Ship of Fools,” propelling Wallinger into the limelight. Over the years, he released four more albums under the World Party moniker, including “Goodbye Jumbo,” “Bang!,” “Egyptology,” and “Dumbing Up.”

Despite facing adversity, such as surviving a brain aneurysm in 2001, Wallinger remained dedicated to his craft, releasing a compilation album titled “Best in Show” in 2007 and returning to touring. Throughout his career, he collaborated with artists like Sinéad O’Connor, and his music found its way into various films and soundtracks.

In a 2022 interview, Wallinger expressed his ongoing passion for music and his desire to create meaningful art that resonated with listeners. He leaves behind a legacy of impactful music and is survived by his wife Suzie Zamit, son Louis Wallinger, daughter Nancy Zamit, and two grandchildren.

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