Sir Rod Stewart ‘lost for words’ as he pays tribute to Cockney Rebel legend Steve Harley
Posted by  badge Boss on Mar 18
Steve Harley has died aged 73 with Sir Rod Stewart paying tribute (Picture: Rex/Getty)

has given emotional tribute to Cockney Rebel star Steve Harley after his death aged 73 from cancer.

Cockney Rebel’s frontman and the writer behind hits like had to pull out of touring earlier this year after receiving his diagnosis.

His family confirmed the loss via a moving post on Facebook, in which they shared pictures of the musician with his four grandchildren.

‘We are devastated to announce that our wonderful Husband and Father has passed away peacefully at home, with his family by his side,’ they penned.

Sir Rod, who was offered single A Friend for Life by Harley, said in a statement: ‘Absolutely devastated, words fail me. The Cockney Rebel has left us. Loved you and admired you Steve and always will.’

The band gained popularity in the 1970s for their bold glam rock sounds, with Harley co-founding alongside Jean-Paul Crocker, drummer Stuart Elliott, bassist Paul Jeffreys and guitarist Nick Jones.

He fronted glam rock band Steve Harley and the Cockney Rebels (Picture: Rex Features)
His family said as he died birdsong from his woodlands could be heard (Picture: Facebook/SteveHarleyCR)

Along with 1974’s Make Me Smile, which remains incredibly popular, the band saw success with Judy Teen, Psychomodo, and Mr Soft.

Harley’s family continued: ‘The birdsong from his woodland that he loved so much was singing for him. His home has been filled with the sounds and laughter of his four Grandchildren.

‘Stephen. Steve. Dad. Grandar. Steve Harley. Whoever you know him as, his heart exuded only core elements. Passion, kindness, generosity. And much more, in abundance.

‘We know he will be desperately missed by people all over the world, and we ask that you respectfully allow us privacy to grieve.

Harley was best known as Cockney Rebel’s frontman (Picture: Guy Venables Cartoon for Metro)

‘Steve took enormous comfort from all of his fans’ well wishes during his battle, and would want to thank you all deeply for your love and support throughout his career.’

On February 13, the musician’s team revealed he had to pull out of upcoming gigs in 2024 ‘due to on-going treatment for cancer’.

The post read: ‘Steve is hoping next year will be altogether different. He appreciates all your kind words and good wishes. Team SH.’

He was still performing live right up until last month (Picture: Facebook/SteveHarleyCR)
They shot up the charts with Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me) (Picture: Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock)

Harley also performed solo during the 80s, releasing music on his own before the band regrouped in 1990 and has toured off and on since.

Outside of his time with the legendary London group, Harley spent time on BBC Radio 2 and presented Sounds of the 70s between 1999 and 2008.

He was described as ‘larger than life’ by fans, who flocked to social media to express their condolences.

Musician Jim Bob shared a picture of the album Face to Face on X and wrote: ‘I loved Steve Harley. This album in particular changed my life.’

During his years in the spotlight, Harley was known to have a larger-than-life personality and once said in an interview with The Independent: ‘I never meant to be arrogant; just honest.’

Just last month, he had and said had ‘shattered’ him, having known each other since the 60s.

It is still one of the most-played songs on UK radio (Picture: Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock)
Harley only stepped back from touring last month (Picture: Shutterstock)

The tribute read: ‘Little Steve’s mum, Joan, was my mum Joyce’s good friend in New Cross Gate, London, SE14, in the fifties and sixties. Steve was in my brother Nigel’s class at Edmund Waller Primary School.

‘Joan had a job, and so Steve would walk home after school with Nigel and Joyce and have tea at our flat in Fairlawn Mansions. Many of you have heard about this; it came up several times during chats he and I had on BBC Radio 2.’

‘Steve Wright was the consummate broadcast professional. There wasn’t a star on this earth who refused the chance to share an interview with him on his In The Afternoon show.

‘Steve managed to be both the guy down-the-street, and a pro working on a higher plane at one and the same time. He made it all seem so easy.’