Musician Kim Shattuck has died at the age of 56 following a battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. Shattuck, a staple of the punk-rock scene since the 1980s, was the frontwoman of punk band the Muffs and was also briefly the bassist for the Pixies. The singer and songwriter also was a member of the Pandoras, the Beards and the Coolies throughout her decades-long musical career.
Shattuck started her career with the Pandoras and founded the Muffs when the band split. The Muffs’ remake of “Kids in America” for the “Clueless” soundtrack brought her more mainstream notoriety. Shattuck was also the co-founder of a side-act, the Beards, and served as a featured vocalist for other punk acts along the way.
Though she had not disclosed her illness to the public, the Coolies donated proceeds from their 2019 EP “Uh Oh! It’s…The Coolies” to the ALS Association Golden West Chapter.
Shattuck told Vents magazine about the donation in July, just saying that it runs in her family, and that the disease “is a mystery to just about every scientist. We are definitely interested in finding a cure for ALS. Cure it already!”
“This morning, the love of my life passed peacefully in her sleep after a two-year struggle with ALS,” her husband, Kevin Sutherland, wrote in a private Instagram post, according to Rolling Stone. “I am the man I am today because of her. She will live with all of us through her music, our shared memories and in her fierce, creative spirit.”
The Pixies also tweeted about their loss, paying tribute to their friend and former bandmate:
We are devastated about Kim's passing. She was a genuine musician, writer and performer who committed her life for the cause. She brought all of her life force to her endeavors and we are fortunate for her sharing some of that life force with us. RIP. pic.twitter.com/iTBagHViah
— PIXIES (@PIXIES) October 3, 2019
“We are devastated about Kim’s passing,” they wrote alongside a photo of the late musician. “She was a genuine musician, writer and performer who committed her life for the cause. She brought all her life force to her endeavors and we are fortunate for her sharing some of that life force with us. RIP.”
The Muffs also took to social media to commemorate Shattuck, praising her songwriting and musicianship and writing, “Kim was a true force of nature”:
They went on to describe how Shattuck continued to work during her illness with ALS: “While battling ALS Kim produced our last album, overseeing every part of the record from tracking to artwork. She was our best friend and playing her songs was an honor. Goodbye Kimba. We love you more than we could ever say. Roy & Ronnie.”
The Muffs released several albums in the 1990s, then returned to the studio in 2004 and ’14, and the band is scheduled to drop their latest album, “No Holiday,” on Oct. 18, NPR reported.
We’re sending our deepest condolences to Shattuck’s loved ones during this difficult time.