As reported by USA Today, Bad Company singer Brian Howe (who replaced Paul Rodgers in the ‘80s and also sang and played guitar on Ted Nugent’s Penetrator) has died. Howe reportedly went into cardiac arrest on Tuesday morning at his home in Florida, and EMTs were unable to revive him after they arrived. Howe was 66.
Howe played with small local bands in England before pushing for a spot in a group with a little more edge. He sent demos to Atlantic Records in hopes of getting a deal, and while they turned down his songs, the label apparently found enough to life in his voice. As the story goes, a producer working with Ted Nugent had been looking for a new vocalist to sing the lead on Nugent’s next album and heard Howe at Atlantic’s office, at which she point she offered him the job. The album, Penetrator, produced hits like “Tied Up In Love,” but Howe was left disappointed with the lack of money and credit he received for this work, convincing him to take off and look for another band to work with.
Conveniently, Mick Ralphs and Simon Kirke of Bad Company were looking to work together on a new project without original Bad Company singer Paul Rodgers. Reviving the bad Company name, they brought in Howe and a few other new members in hopes of revitalizing the band’s arena rock status. Howe wrote and performed on four Bad Company albums, specifically 1986's Fame And Fortune, 1988's Dangerous Age, 1990's Holy Water, and 1992's Here Comes Trouble. Eventually, after feuding with Kirke and Ralphs about how much work he was doing for the band, Howe left and embarked on a solo career. He released three albums on his own, Tangled In Blue, a rerelease called Touch, and then The Circus Bar in 2010. He continued touring and recording updated versions of Bad Company songs up until the last few years.