‘We lost a punk rock legend’: Angelic Upstarts singer dead of COVID-19 complications

A band known for its left-leaning political messages is mourning the death of its frontman.

According to reports, 65-year-old Thomas “Mensi” Mensforth of the band Angelic Upstarts died this week after contracting COVID-19.

“Fighting every day”

The band and Mensforth’s family released statements confirming the news and explaining that his battle with the virus led to complications and a stay in the intensive care unit.

“Just an update for everyone,” read one such statement. “Dad is in ICU and still very poorly, the family are hoping and praying for positive news daily. He has a long road to recovery ahead and is in the best place possible to help him.”

His loved ones went on to confirm that Mensforth “is a fighter and is fighting every day and this will never change.”

While the family held out hope that there would be “some better and positive news to share,” a statement on Saturday confirmed that he did not make it.

The Instagram post featured a black-and-white photo of the singer captioned with the name of his band and the message: “Today we lost a punk rock legend. Our thoughts are with his family, friends, and all those he inspired.”

“Wore his heart on his sleeve”

Mensforth was a founding member of Angelic Upstarts, serving as its lead singer since 1977. The band soon became associated with a political movement — particularly a penchant for pushing socialist and anti-fascist ideals.

During the band’s first decade, members released eight studio albums. Although the group went through various stages and breakups over the years, Angelic Upstarts released new music throughout the 1990s and into the current century, mostly with Mensforth in the mix.

He was the second musician associated with the band to die from COVID-19. In February, former member Tony Morrison succumbed to complications from the disease.

Fans and colleagues have left tributes to the late musician on social media platforms and elsewhere.

Music and culture site Louder Than War offered thoughts on the death of the “legendary” entertainer, writing: “He finally succumbed to the Covid that he had been fighting in hospital for the last couple [of] weeks. The charismatic singer wore his heart on his sleeve and his band dotted punks second wave with a series of classic singles.”

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