Kim Shattuck, lead singer of punk rock band The Muffs, dies

By Jack Knudson, Contributor
[Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons]

Kim Shattuck, lead singer, guitarist and songwriter for the American punk rock band The Muffs, died on October 2. The cause of death was amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS, a disease she had battled for two years. Her husband, Kevin Sutherland, announced that she had “passed peacefully in her sleep” in a private Instagram post. Shattuck was 56.

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According to Rolling Stone, Shattuck did not disclose her ALS diagnosis in any interviews but had acknowledged that the disease ran in her family. The Coolies., another one of Shattuck’s bands, donated all proceeds from their EP Uh Oh! It’s…The Coolies to the Golden West Chapter of the ALS Association. 

The Muffs’ Ronnie Barnnett and Roy McDonald wrote a heartfelt message on the band’s Facebook page, saying that Shattuck had produced their last album while battling ALS. The album, No Holiday, is set for release on October 18, according to Deadline.  

Shattuck got her start in the 1980s as the bassist for The Pandoras, an all-female garage band. She left the band in 1990 and started The Muffs alongside Pandoras bandmate, keyboardist and best friend Melanie Vammen.

As the lead singer of The Muffs, Shattuck was known for her raspy voice and scream. This, combined with the band’s pop-punk attitude and catchy melodies, created a distinct sound. 

The Muffs disbanded in 2004 after releasing their fifth album, Really Really Happy, a mellower take that was largely seen as a departure from previous albums. 

After nearly a decade, the band reunited and released their sixth album, Whoop Dee Doo, in 2014. 

Shattuck also collaborated with other punk and alternative rock bands throughout her career, including the Pixies, NOFX and Bowling for Soup

Numerous bands, such as the Pixies and Veruca Salt, have expressed their condolences on Twitter and Instagram. In a poignant statement on Instagram, Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong remembered Shattuck as an inspirational musician, saying, “We will hear that rock n roll scream from heaven.”

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