- 13 Dec 19
We're looking back on the most surprising, shocking and polarising music news of the year.
Jimmy Page and Tom Robinson lead the tributes in May when Gregory Gray, AKA Mary Cigarettes, was found dead in his Hertfordshire home.
Just shy of his 60th birthday, the Portrush singer's remarkable career started in the 1970s when he joined Rosetta Stone, the band talent spotted by Bay City Rollers manager Tam Paton.
"It was a complete Andy Warhol moment," Gregory told Hot Press in a 1996 interview. "Forget singing or playing an instrument, our sole function was to wet little girls' knickers and, if we were discreet about it, a few boys' Y-fronts. It was on the back of the Bay City Rollers who were themselves a fake. We were a copy of a copy playing the Budokan!"
After a stint fronting the altogether spikier Perfect Crime - we've fond memories of them playing at U2's 1983 A Day At The Races gig in the Phoenix Park - Gregory struck out on his own with 1995's Euroflake In Silverlake, a Peter Gabriel meets the Pet Shop Boys-style confection. More recently he reinvented himself as Mary Cigarettes, a dance subversive, albeit one with a beating pop heart.
You can read the complete collection of Music News of the Year in the Hot Press Annual – in which we distill the highlights and low-points of the year, across 132 vital, beautifully designed pages. Starring heroes of the year Fontaines D.C. on the front we cover Music, Culture, Sport, Film, Politics, the Environment and much, much more. Buy this superb publication direct from Hot Press here.