Kim Shattuck, lead singer, guitarist, and songwriter of the great ’90s pop-punk band the Muffs, has died. Her husband confirmed the news on social media, writing that she passed away in her sleep this morning following a two-year battle with ALS. She was 56.
Born July 17, 1963, Shattuck started her musical career in 1985 as the new bass player for the all-female Los Angeles rock band the Pandoras. She quit the Pandoras in late 1990; shortly afterwards, the band broke up and frontwoman Paula Pierce died of a brain aneurysm.
Shattuck soon decided to start her own band with another former Pandoras member, Melanie Vammen. They called themselves the Muffs, and after adding bassist Ronnie Barnett and drummer Criss Crass to the lineup in 1991, they began recording. Following the success of early singles “Guilty,” “New Love,” and “I Need You” on Sub Pop and Sympathy For The Record Industry, the Muffs were signed to Warner Bros. Records, and they released their self-titled debut album in 1993.
After some lineup changes, the Muffs went on to release three more albums: 1995’s Blonder And Blonder — named after Courtney Love supposedly accused Shattuck of stealing her look by saying “Blonder and blonder, I see” — 1997’s Happy Birthday To Me, and 1999’s Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow, before going on hiatus.
Shattuck began performing with Lisa Marr and Sherri Solinger as the Beards, and in 2004, the Muffs reconvened to release another album, Really Really Happy. Shattuck briefly became the touring bassist for the Pixies following Kim Deal’s departure in 2013, and a year later, the Muffs reunited again for the new album Whoop Dee Doo.
Recently, Shattuck formed a new band called the Coolies with Palmyra Delran and original Muffs member Melanie Vammen. They released their debut EP this year, with all profits going to support the ALS Association Golden West Chapter. The Muffs’ first album in five years, No Holiday, is set to come out later this month.