Bad Company singer, former Fort Myers Beach resident Brian Howe dies at 66

Writer: Derrick Shaw
Brian Howe at WINK News in 2014

Brian Howe, former lead singer for the rock group Bad Company, died Wednesday in Florida.

He was 66.

Howe’s passing was confirmed by his longtime friend and manager, Paul Easton.

“It is with deep and profound sadness that we announce the untimely passing of a loving father, friend and musical icon, Brian Howe,” Easton said in a statement.

Howe was found in his Lake Placid home Tuesday morning, suffering from cardiac arrest. EMTs were able to have a short conversation with him before he went unresponsive and couldn’t be revived.

Howe lived on Fort Myers Beach for many years before moving to Lake Placid.

RELATED: Brian Howe visits WINK News in 2015 – see the interview

Born in Portsmouth, England, Howe’s early career in the U.S. began with Ted Nugent. Atlantic Records was working on Nugent’s new album and heard Howe’s voice coming out of an associate’s office. They signed him to become the lead singer for Nugent’s “Penetrator” album, which was Nugent’s eighth studio album and reached #56 on Billboards top 200, with “Tied Up In Love”. Howe played with Nugent for a couple of years before he was being considered for yet another iconic band at Atlantic Records.

A reteaming was taking place with Bad Company and Howe found himself as the lead singer.

Reflecting the musical style of the mid-80s, the first album found moderate commercial success, but things were about to change in 1988 with the next Howe-era album, “Dangerous Age,” spawning several MTV videos and the AOR hits “No Smoke Without A Fire” (#4), “One Night” (#9) and “Shake It Up” (#9, also No. 89 on the Singles charts). The album went Gold and hit the Top 60. An accomplishment for Howe that carried his talent to the next level with the release of the band’s next album, “Holy Water,” released in 1990. The album was enormously successful both critically and commercially, attaining Top 40 and Platinum status by selling more than 1 million copies.

Holy Water spun off the singles “If You Needed Somebody” (#16), the title track “Holy Water” (#89) and “Walk Through Fire” (#28). “Holy Water” also hit No. 1 for two weeks on the AOR charts with “If You Needed Somebody” reaching No. 2. Given the success of “Holy Water,” the band continued with the final studio album of the Howe era, “Here Comes Trouble”, featured the Top 40 hit “How About That” (#38) and “This Could Be The One” (#87). The album went Gold.

Howe left the band in 1994 and went solo, released the albums “Tangled in Blue”, “Emotions”, “Circus Bar”, and his self-titled “Brian Howe The Collection.” In 2018, his single “Hot Tin Roof” received the Hollywood Music in Media Awards award for Best Rock Song of the Year.

Prior to his death, he was on tour with his band – Paul Warren, Christopher Turnbow, Miguel Gonzales and Rick Brothers – before the industry shut down due to COVID-19.

“I feel we are all put in this world for a reason” stated his son Michael. “The passion for music was my father’s, and I am so happy that his legacy will live on.”

Howe is survived by his sister Sandie and her husband, his son Michael and daughters Victoria and Ella, along with three grandchildren – Kira, Alexandria, and Aurora.

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