How Did Mark Hollis Die? New Details About The Talk Talk Star's Death At 64

He was 64.

How Did Mark Hollis Die? New Details About The Talk Talk Star's Death Getty

Mark Hollis has died. 

The former lead singer of the 1980s band Talk Talk died on Feb. 25 at the age of 64. His former manager, Keith Aspden, confirmed the musician's death with NPR. 

"Sadly it's true," Aspden said. "Mark has died after a short illness from which he never recovered."

Talk Talk's former bassist Paul Webb — a.k.a. Rusin Man — paid tribute to his former bandmate on Instagram. 

"I am very shocked and saddened to hear the news of the passing of Mark Hollis. Musically, he was a genius and it was a honour and a privilege to have been in a band with him. I have not seen Mark for many years, but like many musicians of our generation I have been profoundly influenced by his trailblazing musical ideas. He knew how to create depth of feeling with sound and space like no other. He was one of the greats, if not the greatest."


So how did Mark Hollis die? Here's everything we know about the Talk Talk singer's death. 

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1. He suffered from a short illness.

His manager confirmed that Hollis suffered from a "short illness," though he did not specify what that illness was.


“I’m still trying to accept this, but sadly it’s true,” Aspden said in a statement. “Mark has died after a short illness from which he never recovered. Deeply felt sorrow for a remarkable person who remained true to himself throughout his life. I can’t tell you how much Mark influenced and changed my perceptions on art and music. I’m grateful for the time I spent with him and for the gentle beauty he shared with us.”

A cause of death has yet to be released. 

2. His cousin was the first to break the news. 

Hollis' cousin, Anthony Costello, first tweeted the news on Feb. 25.


"RIP Mark Hollis. Cousin-in-law. Wonderful husband and father. Fascinating and principled man. Retired from the music business 20 years ago but an indefinable musical icon. Talk Talk - It's My Life (Live at Montreux 1986)," he wrote. 

3. He is survived by his wife and two kids. 

Hollis is survived by his wife, who works as a teacher, and his two sons. As of 1998, they lived in Wimbledon, London. A profile about him said that he lived "quietly" and was disciplined by a "willingness to learn." He enjoyed talking about his son's music teacher at the school. 

“I have enough money to live on, which is great,” he said. “In this sense, I feel a bit like a student whose grant allows him to spend his time creatively — reading, listening to and playing music, and getting a bit of sport in as well. Yeah, it’s a good life.”


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4. He left the music industry in 1998.

After he released a solo album in 1998, Hollis left the music industry and removed himself entirely from the public eye. He said he left fame and a music career behind for his family.

"I choose for my family. Maybe others are capable of doing it, but I can't go on tour and be a good dad at the same time."


5. Prior to that, he stopped touring with Talk Talk.

He stopped touring with Talk Talk a few years prior in 1986 and wrote his solo album entirely from home. 

"I spent much time on the writing and arranging. I've played at home and built the whole record in my head. You can say that I first made a sort manuscript. Then, I reckon, is the actualy time to make the album, when you're ready. At the same time I've got a family, and I love to be at home." 

With his solo album, he said there woudn't be any gigs, not even "at home in the living room." 


6. He didn't like fame.

In the same interview, he talked about how he doesn't like posing for photos and how he once did 13 interviews a day in Belgium and it drove him crazy. After he left Talk Talk he stopped paying attention to the music industry.

"No, I don't have a clue, indeed, I don't pay attention to that, I'm listening to classical music from the 20th century or jazz from the 2nd half of the fifties to the end of the sixties." 

7. People throughout the industry have been paying tribute.

Since news of Hollis' passing broke, musicians and people from all walks of the entertainment industry have been paying tribute to him on social media. 


"His influence upon music was immense and far reaching," wrote Gary Kemp of Spandau Ballet. "A great presence in the modern era who took his bow far too early but has left us so much still to be moved by."

Paul Epworth, Adele's producer, wrote that he was "trying to find the words to express his sadness." 

"Hearing Spirit Of Eden blew my 18 year old mind to such a degree I set out to try and learn how on earth they had created this transcendent masterpiece. That search turned into a career."

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Emily Blackwood is a writer and editor living in California. She covers all things news, pop culture, and true crime.