Keith Flint: A retrospective

The music world was left reeling this week as the unexpected and tragic news of Keith Flint’s passing made waves around the world.

The Prodigy singer, just 49 years old, died at an unspecific time over the weekend of March 2nd. Reportedly taking his own life, the singer – perhaps best known for 1996 number one Firestarter – had ran a 5km race earlier in the day. Flint was last seen out celebrating with his personal trainer: enjoying a quiet drink in a local pub, in a corner by the fire.

The latest in a string of male suicides in the press over the last few years, Flint will be remembered as the charismatic, anarchist frontman for one of the biggest dance bands of all time, The Prodigy. Here, we take a look back at the singers storied time in the limelight, and remember another musical icon, gone too soon.

Keith_in_2009

(Credit: ParaDoxus)

When you think of The Prodigy, you think of Keith Flint. His green spiky hair and his punk rock attitude became something the band were perhaps most known for. What often goes overlooked, however,  is that Flint himself didn’t actually become a contributing member of the group until their third album, 1997’s Fat of the Land.

Originally brought in as a dancer for the group, Flint soon found himself singing on the bands biggest hit, FirestarterHis iconic devil horn styled hair and manic movements thrust Keith into the limelight, becoming The Prodigy’s poster boy.

Flint went on to feature in some of the bands biggest hits, including Breathe and Fuel My Fire.

The Prodigy became a staple of electronic music, their influence still felt to this day in the genre. Flint and the band faced many controversies during their time at the top of the electronic mountain. Smack My Bitch Up was banned across many radio stations and music channels in 1997, due to its apparent misogynistic lyrical content. Flint was met with controversy in 2002, referencing drug Rohypnol in Baby’s got a Temper, however this and throngs of other controversies merely propelled the band’s popularity in the eyes of fans.

Despite his demonic onstage demeanour, Flint was said to be a soft spoken gentleman when away from the bright lights of showbiz. Buying a country pub – The Leather Bottle – in 2014, Keith would often reportedly chat to fans, sign autographs and even pick up bar tabs on occasion. For a man so outspoken and vibrant onstage, it seemed he enjoyed the quiet life whenever he could.

Credit: Jared Earle/MotoRaceReports

(Credit: Jared Earle/MotoRaceReports)

Whenever a high-profile musician passes away, it seems they become everyone’s favourite band. Timelines and hashtags bursting with songs, pictures and stories. Evidently this time around is no different, with Firestarter gaining national airplay once again this week, 23 years after its initial release. But the passing of Keith Flint has shown the world a very different man to the one they thought they knew. Stories of his kindness, his secluded country lifestyle, and his soft spoken manner paint a very different picture from the twisted Firestarter that appeared on the airwaves and screens of the world. His fire may be out, but his legacy is burnt into British musical history forevermore.

 

 

 

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