Bay City Rollers Frontman Les McKeown Dead at 65
Published Apr 22, 2021Les McKeown — the singer who led Bay City Rollers through their most successful period — has died. Today his family made the sad announcement, explaining McKeown died suddenly at his home on Tuesday (April 20). He was 65.
McKeown led the Scottish pop band through their '70s peak, being the voice behind such hits as "I Only Wanna Be With You," "Bye Bye Baby," "Shang-a-Lang" and "Give a Little Love."
"It is with profound sadness that we announce the death of our beloved husband and father Leslie Richard McKeown," his family wrote on the singer's Twitter account. "Leslie died suddenly at home on Tuesday."
The Edinburgh singer joined Bay City Rollers in 1973 and eventually left in 1978. He later participated in a reunion in 2015. In more recent years, he toured as Les McKeown's Bay City Rollers.
"I think we were a breath of fresh air in the '70s," McKeown told the Press and Journal in 2016 during a Bay City Rollers reunion. "There was nothing complicated about our music — although it's amazing how many people who used to come to our concerts as teenagers are still coming back with their daughters after all these years and they're singing our songs together. That's pretty special."
Bay City Rollers bassist Ian Mitchell passed away in September 2020.