-- Mark E. Smith, frontman of the prolific and influential U.K. post-punk band the Fall, died this morning at his home. He was 60.
Smith's passing was announced via a Facebook post from the Fall's manager Pam Vander, who noted that a more detailed statement about his death "will follow in the next few days."
Smith had battled a number of ailments during the past year, including throat, dental and respiratory issues that forced him to cancel U.K. shows in November 2017 and a U.S. tour earlier last year.
Smith formed the Fall in 1976 and was the only constant member in the group, which underwent frequent lineup changes. The band released more than 30 studio albums over the years and scored a few hits on the U.K. indie charts during the early 1980s, including "Totally Wired," "The Man Whose Head Expanded" and "Kicker Conspiracy."
The Fall even broke into the top 40 of the U.K.'s pop singles chart twice, in 1987 with "There's a Ghost in My House" and 1988 with a cover of The Kinks' "Victoria."
The Fall's edgy, guitar-driven sound was highlighted by Smith's nasal, slurred spoke-sung vocals and cryptic lyrics. The group is considered to be an influence on many alternative-rock acts, including Sonic Youth, Pavement and Guided by Voices.
The band's released its most recent album, "New Facts Emerge," in July 2017.