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Richard H Kirk, Cabaret Voltaire Co-Founder, Dies at 65

Richard H Kirk
UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1980: Richard H. Kirk of Cabaret Voltaire (Photo by David Corio/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Richard H Kirk, one of the founding members of Cabaret Voltaire, has died at the age of 65. Cabaret Voltaire and Mute, the band’s record label, shared the news of Kirk’s in a Facebook post on Tuesday morning. No cause of death has been revealed.

Here’s what the statement said:

It is with great sadness that we confirm our great and dear friend, Richard H. Kirk has passed away.
Richard was a towering creative genius who led a singular and driven path throughout his life and musical career.
We will miss him so much.
We ask that his family are given space at this time.



Born on March 21, 1956, Kirk joined forces with Stephen Mallinder and Chris Watson to form Cabaret Voltaire in Sheffield, UK in the early 1970s. The ushered in a new era of industrial and electronic that also blended elements of punk and pop.  In their early years, Cabaret Voltaire would often be on the same lineup as Joy Division.

Kirk and Cabaret Voltaire have been cited by Bernard Sumner of New Order, Depeche Mode and Skinny Puppy as being highly influential on their sound.

Cabaret Voltaire was initially active between 1973-1994. Watson left the group in 1981 and Mallinder in 1994, leading to a long period of inactivity until Kirk restarted the group in 2009 and the group made a 2014 performance at Berlin’s Atonal festival for the new version’s first show. Last year, with Kirk as the sole remaining member, Cabaret Voltaire returned with a new album, Shadow of Fear, that was released late last year and was their first in over 20 years.

On top of his work with Cabaret Voltaire, Kirk had a lengthy solo catalog as well.