Bay City Rollers’ Les McKeown Dead At 65
Les McKeown, known for fronting the iconic Scottish group Bay City Rollers, has died at 65. The news broke this morning when his wife Keiko and son Jubei posted on his Twitter account: “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 20 April 2021. We are currently making arrangements for his funeral and ask for privacy after the shock of our profound loss.”
The official band also posted their own statement: “We are saddened by the news of Leslie McKeown’s death. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Peko and his son Jubei, their family and friends. Rest In Peace, Leslie.”
Bay City Rollers, who are often considered of the world’s first “boy bands,” had a string of hits in the ’70s, many of them covers of American pop songs, including one of the Four Seasons’ “Bye Bye Baby.” They were a phenomenon in the UK and crossed over to the US with “Saturday Night,” which ended up at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. McKeown joined the group in 1973 and was present for their height before leaving in 1978.
McKeown released his memoir Shang-a-Lang: My Life With the Bay City Rollers in 2019. Variety reports that he was planning a post-pandemic comeback tour with his touring version of the group.