Chart-Topping Rock Band Frontman Dead at 73

( – British rock star Steve Harley, who topped the United Kingdom’s music charts in the 1970s with his legendary single Make Me Smiledied on March 17 at the age of 73. His family revealed the musician’s death in a statement posted on Facebook, where they said he died at his house. While no cause of death was given, Harley and his manager announced back in February that the rock star would have to spend an indefinite period out of the limelight as he dealt with cancer treatment.

Harley was the frontman of the rock band Cockney Rebel, which was formed in the early 1970s. Numerous media outlets and music experts have explained that the main reason why Make Me Smile became such a massive success wasn’t just because of the melancholic lyrics or his voice but because of the song’s optimistic sound. Some articles have said that the song’s rhythm and music style gained immediate attention as it was quite different from the nostalgic and rebellious style of some of the most famous bands during the 1970s. The song reached first place on the UK charts in February 1975.

Far from being a one-hit wonder band, Cockney Rebel was already famous before Make Me Smile, with other hits that were played on almost every single radio station in the UK back then. Some of these include a funky cover of the Beatles’ Here Comes the Sun, as well as Judy Teen, which reached fifth place on the country’s charts in 1974.

While some of Cockney Rebel’s songs weren’t successful in Britain, many found success outside of it. The most famous one was Sebastian, which was released in 1973 and became a number-one hit in some European countries such as the Netherlands and Belgium.

Harley was born on February 27, 1951, in London. He was the second of five children of a pair of musicians who played swing and jazz during the 1940s.

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