Syd BarrettDied when: 60 years 182 days
Star Sign: Capricorn
Roger Keith "Syd" Barrett (6 January 1946 – 7 July 2006) was an English singer, songwriter, and musician who co-founded the band Pink Floyd in 1965. Barrett named the group and was their original lead singer, guitarist and principal songwriter. He was ousted in April 1968 after David Gilmour took over as their new guitarist. Barrett was briefly hospitalised amid speculation of mental illness and his excessive use of psychedelic drugs. Barrett was musically active for less than ten years. With Pink Floyd, he recorded four singles, their debut album The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967), portions of their second album A Saucerful of Secrets (1968), and several unreleased songs. Barrett debuted his solo career in 1969 with the single "Octopus" from his first solo album, The Madcap Laughs (1970). The album was recorded over the course of a year with five different producers and included two tracks featuring members of Soft Machine. He recorded and released one more album, Barrett (1970), produced by Gilmour and featuring contributions from former Pink Floyd bandmate Richard Wright. In 1972, Barrett left the music industry, retired from public life and strictly guarded his privacy until his death. In 1988, EMI released an album of unreleased tracks and outtakes, Opel, with Barrett's approval. Barrett was known for his English-accented singing, and his innovative guitar work and use of techniques such as dissonance, distortion and feedback influenced many musicians. Pink Floyd recorded several tributes and homages to him, including the 1975 song suite "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" and the 1979 rock opera The Wall. Following his withdrawal from the industry, Barrett continued painting and dedicated himself to gardening. He died of pancreatic cancer in 2006.
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