Smith’s three sisters said that the singer was suffering from “horrible side effects” caused by terminal lung and kidney cancer.
“Mark fought a long and hard battle after his diagnosis of terminal lung and kidney cancer,” the statement reads. “He took every treatment going, which could be brutal at times and left Mark with some horrible side effects. Mark was such a strong man and hated letting his fans down and tried to carry on regardless against all advice.”
Smith died on January 24 at the age of 60 after suffering from health issues for several years that had led to the cancellation of a 2017 U.S. tour.
The band’s manager said at the time that his medical issues were “connected to his throat mouth/dental & respiratory system.” He performed last year in a wheelchair in the U.K.
Raised in Prestwich, near Manchester, England, he moved in with Una Baines at the age of 16 and went on to form the Fall with her. The band’s debut EP “Bingo-Master’s Break Out!” was released in 1978 at the height of the original British punk explosion, but The Fall were utterly unique, owing more to oddball rockers like Captain Beefheart and 1970s “Krautrock” acts like Can than the punk prototypes like the Stooges or New York Dolls. At the center of it all for 40-odd years and 32 albums was Smith, whose surreal wordplay and deadpan style of talk-rap-singing was instantly identifiable and much imitated, both seriously and not. The Fall’s tense, often-abrasive sound was a key influence on numerous bands including Sonic Youth (which covered several of their songs), Pavement and LCD Soundsystem.
The Fall released its final album, “New Facts Emerge,” last year.
The statement appears in full below:
We would like to thank family, friends and fans for all their kind words, condolences and memories about our brother Mark.
Also, the N.H.S and staff who treated Mark throughout and Mark’s partner Pam who loved, cared and cherished our brother.
Mark fought a long and hard battle after his diagnosis of terminal lung and kidney cancer. He took every treatment going, which could be brutal at times and left Mark with some horrible side effects. Mark was such a strong man and hated letting his fans down and tried to carry on regardless against all advice.
Mark had a great life and loved and lived it to the full and always by his own rules and we, as his sisters were privileged to be part of it too.
Mark is at peace now and pain free, but we, his three sisters have been left heartbroken and will miss our big brother very much.
Barbara, Suzanne and Caroline.