Larry Steinbachek, a founding member of the band Bronski Beat, has died after a short battle with cancer at the age of 56. Reports say that he died in December but it was not announced publicly until now.

Jimmy Sommerville saluted his former bandmate, saying “In memory of Larry Steinbacheck whose death was announced yesterday. “We were young, brave and determined. Too OUT to stay in! Thank you for that moment Larry.” Jimmy, 12th January 2017.”

Bronski Beat was formed in 1983 by Sommerville, Steinbachek and Steve Bronski with a goal of being a more outspoken voice in the gay music community. They signed with London records the next year, releasing the song Smalltown Boy which went to number 3 in the U.K. and topped the U.S. Dance chart.

They followed in quick succession with Why? (1984 / #6 U.K.), It Ain’t Necessarily So (1984 / #16 U.K.), I Feel Love (Medley) with Marc Almond (1985 / #3 U.K.) before Sommerville left the band.

Bronski and Steinbachek brought in John Foster as the new singer and they continued their string of hits with Hit That Perfect Beat (1985 / #3 U.K. / #7 U.S. Dance) and C’Mon C’Mon (1986 / #20 U.K.) but Foster left in 1987 and the band’s popularity swiftly waned as they continued to go through singers.

Steinbachek left Bronski Beat in 1995 and moved to Amsterdam where he continued to be active in music and musical theater.

Marc Almond paid tribute on Friday, writing “Very sad to hear of the young death of Larry Steinbachek. Enjoyed working with Bronski back in the 80’s and having a big hit with them”