NI music agent Steve Strange was ‘unsung hero’ of global industry

A Northern Irish music agent has been fondly remembered by a host of top acts who he worked with, following his death at the age of 53.

Steve Strange started his career in the concert industry in The Limelight in the late 1980s

While the bands and singers he was associated with became household names, Steve Strange flew under the radar.

The Carrickfergus man, who died on Friday following a short illness, started his career in the concert industry in legendary Belfast venue The Limelight in the late 1980s.

He went on to become an agent in London and began assembling a roster of musical talent that included Coldplay, Eminem, Snow Patrol, Queens of the Stone Age and Ed Sheeran.

A spokesperson for the Limelight said: “Steve was a titan of the global music industry, an unsung hero, and a fantastic and loyal friend to this venue and to Northern Ireland’s music community for more than 40 years.”

Ed Sheeran said Steve’s passing was “a very sad day, and a huge loss”.

Coldplay said he was a “giant of the music industry and the cornerstone for so many bands’ and artists’ careers”

Ash tweeted: “Our hearts are broken. Goodnight Mr. Steve Strange.

“Agent extraordinaire. The heart of a lion.

“Straight outta Carrick, he changed this business forever.

“Our force. Our constant source. Our Shining Light. Miss you like crazy Strangey.”

Snow Patrol said: “[Steve] believed in us before almost anyone else in the music industry did.

“To picture a world without him in it is to picture a world so diminished. With less joy, less positivity, less optimism, less heart. Quieter, duller and much less interesting.

“So instead we’ll remember the joy he brought so many people and tell Steve Strange Stories.”

Danny O’Donoghue from The Script said: “So sorry to hear of the passing of Steve Strange, prayers and love to his family and friends at this time. Taken so young and a true legend in the industry. You’ll be missed by everyone who came in contact with you. Rest in peace!”

X-Ray Touring, the live booking agency that Steve co-founded in 2005, said: “Steve was a unique individual within our industry, his overwhelming love of music lead to a 30 year plus career guiding the touring of an eclectic mix of artists from all genres of music that he adored.

“A universally known, hugely respected and loved character – if you hadn’t already seen him at a gig or festival, you’d most certainly hear his infectious and infamous laugh.”