Rozz WilliamsView In iTunes
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Best known as the former frontman of the influential goth-rock band Christian Death, Rozz Williams also enjoyed an eclectic solo career which saw his music take turns into industrial, cabaret and spoken-word projects. Born Roger Alan Painter, Williams was still a teen when he formed Christian Death during the 1980s; their debut LP, 1982's Only Theatre of Pain, appeared when the singer was barely old enough to drive. While Christian Death's subsequent records positioned them at the forefront of the American goth scene, Williams bristled at the goth label, which he felt straitjacketed his creativity; to explore other musical avenues, he performed with side projects including the industrial vehicles Premature Ejaculation and Heltir before eventually going solo with 1995's Dream Home Heartache, a spare, cabaret-styled outing recorded with keyboardist Gitane Demone. Its 1997 follow-up, The Whorses' Mouth, was a spoken-word piece exploring Williams' long battle with heroin addiction; sadly, he committed suicide on April 1, 1998 at the age of 34. ~ Jason Ankeny