World Party frontman and former The Waterboys member Karl Wallinger dies


World Party frontman and former The Waterboys member Karl Wallinger has died aged 66.

The Welsh-born musician formed World Party in 1986 and wrote the track She’s The One which featured on the band’s 1997 album Egyptology.

She’s The One was covered by Robbie Williams in 1999 and reached number one on the UK singles chart.

A statement from Wallinger’s publicist says he died on Sunday 10 March but no cause of death is given.

The multi-instrumentalist recorded five albums with World Party between 1987 and 2000 – with debut record Private Revolution including the minor hit Ship Of Fools.

Wallinger was the only consistent member of World Party and is said to have recorded much of the act’s material as a one-man band.

He began his music career as a keyboard player in a variety of bands before joining British-Irish folk rock group The Waterboys in 1983.

He stayed with the band until 1985 and wrote the original music for the band’s hit Don’t Bang The Drum.

Wallinger also contributed to late Irish star Sinead O’Connor’s debut album The Lion And The Cobra which was released in 1987.

He continued to work with O’Connor for several years afterwards.

The Waterboys founder Mike Scott is among those have paid tribute to Wallinger, writing on X: “Travel on well my old friend. You are one of the finest musicians I’ve ever known.”

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Curt Smith from pop band Tears For Fears said on X: “Very sad news, I was a big fan of Karl’s.”

Wallinger served as the musical director for the 1994 Ben Stiller-directed film Reality Bites, starring Ethan Hawke and Winona Ryder, as well as contributing to the soundtrack of the 1995 film Clueless with a version of David Bowie’s All The Young Dudes.

Wallinger was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm in 2001 and spent five years away from the spotlight following surgery.

He is survived by his wife, sculptor Suzie Zamit, two children and two grandchildren.


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