Bay City Rollers star Les McKeown dies suddenly aged 65

The Edinburgh-born singer died suddenly at his home on Tuesday.

Bay City Rollers star Les McKeown dies suddenly aged 65 PA Ready

Singer Les McKeown of Bay City Rollers fame has died aged 65.

The Edinburgh-born star’s wife and daughter told fans he died suddenly at his home on Tuesday.

In a statement released on his Facebook page on Thursday, his family wrote: “It is with profound sadness that we announce the death of our beloved husband and father Leslie Richard McKeown.

“Leslie died suddenly at home on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. We are currently making arrangements for his funeral.

The Bay City Rollers in 1978. Getty Images

“We thank you and ask for privacy after the shock of our profound loss. Thank you. Keiko and Jubei McKeown.”

He was the lead singer of the tartan-clad pop-band during their most successful era in the mid-70s when they found worldwide fame with hits such as Shang-A-Lang and Saturday Night.

After hearing the news, Bay City Rollers guitarist Stuart ‘Woody’ Wood told the Daily Record: “I am upset and shocked to hear this very sad news.


“Les and I had our differences over the years but even though we had disagreements we are sending our heartfelt condolences to Peko wife and his son Jubie and all the Bay City Rollers Fans. It’s a sad day in Bay City Roller history.

“He was a great performer on stage and he was full of energy. I was roadying when Les first came into the band and I saw his first gig when he took over from Nobby Clark and injected new life into the band.”

Scottish songwriter John McLaughlin wrote: “Devastated that Les McKeown, the iconic frontman of the #BayCityRollers has sadly passed away.

“Les became a a good friend over the last few years and was truly great fun to be around. I will miss him. My thoughts are with Peko and the family at this sad time.”

The Rollers had a massive teen following and sold more than 100 million records, and in the press were heralded as “biggest group since the Beatles”.

The news comes three-years after the death of bandmate Alan Longmuir who died aged 70 in the summer of 2018.

Alongside McKeown and Longmuir, the classic line-up also included guitarists Eric Faulkner and Stuart Wood, with Longmuir’s younger brother Derek on drums.

McKeown, Longmuir and Wood reunited for a comeback tour in 2015 with tickets selling out in minutes.

Judy Murray was among those paying tribute.

Posting on Twitter alongside a picture of her with McKeown she wrote “Bye bye baby”.

And Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh wrote “RIP Les” with a picture of McKeown in his Bay City Rollers heyday.

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code