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Ian Curtis

English musician and songwriter

Died when: 23 years 308 days (286 months)
Star Sign: Cancer

Ian Kevin Curtis (15 July 1956 – 18 May 1980) was an English singer-songwriter and musician. He was the lead singer and lyricist of the post-punk band Joy Division and recorded two albums with the group: Unknown Pleasures (1979) and Closer (1980). Curtis was known for his bass-baritone voice, dance style and songwriting typically filled with imagery of desolation, emptiness and alienation. Curtis suffered from epilepsy and depression and took his own life on the eve of Joy Division's first North American tour and shortly before the release of Closer. His death led to the band's dissolution and the subsequent formation of New Order. Despite their short career, Joy Division have exerted a wide-reaching influence. John Bush of AllMusic argues that they "became the first band in the post-punk movement by ... emphasizing not anger and energy but mood and expression, pointing ahead to the rise of melancholy alternative music in the '80s". According to critic Simon Reynolds, Joy Division's influence has extended from contemporaries such as U2 and the Cure to later acts including Interpol, Bloc Party and Editors. Rap artists such as Danny Brown and Vince Staples have cited the band as an influence.
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