The Muffs Singer Kim Shattuck Dies at 56: She 'Was a True Force of Nature'

The singer-songwriter and guitarist was best known for performing with The Muffs, as well as The Pandoras from 1985 to 1991

Kim Shattuck
Photo: Jim Dyson/Getty Images

Kim Shattuck, the singer-songwriter and lead guitarist for the punk rock band The Muffs, has died. She was 56.

Shattuck passed away on Wednesday morning after battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) for two years, her husband Kevin Sutherland confirmed on Instagram.

“This morning the love of my life Kim passed peacefully in her sleep after a two-year struggle with ALS,” he wrote in a post that was re-shared by Shattuck’s former bandmate and good friend Melanie Vammen.

“I am the man I am today because of her. She will live with all of us through her music, our shared memories and in her fierce creative spirit,” he continued. “I love you forever my Kimmy. Thank you for sharing your life with me.”

The Muffs’ bassist Ronnie Barnett and drummer Roy McDonald also confirmed the tragic news in a statement on the band’s Facebook page.

“We are very sorry to announce the passing of our bandmate and dear friend Kim Shattuck,” they wrote. “Besides being a brilliant songwriter, rocking guitarist and singer/screamer extraordinaire, Kim was a true force of nature.”

“While battling ALS Kim produced our last album, overseeing every part of the record from tracking to artwork,” they added. “She was our best friend and playing her songs was an honor. Goodbye Kimba. We love you more than we could ever say.”

Kim Shattuck
Kim Shattuck. Jim Dyson/Getty Images

Shattuck got her start in performing in 1985 as a bassist and backing vocalist in the all-female rock band, The Pandoras. It was in that band that she also became very close to Vammen.

The friends eventually left the band together in 1990, and they formed The Muffs. Shattuck served as lead singer-songwriter and guitarist, while Vammen played guitar, bass and keyboards. Over the years, multiple members joined and left the group, including Vammen.

The band ultimately hit their peak in 1995 after releasing their second album “Blonder and Blonder,” but later went on a hiatus and didn’t return to the music scene until 2004.

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In addition to The Muffs, Shattuck performed with several other groups including The Beards, The Dollyrots, NOFX, The Fastbacks, White Flag and The Pixies. In 2015, she reunited with The Pandoras.

Prior to her illness, Shattuck had been touring and recording with both The Pandoras and The Muffs.

The Muffs’ most recent album No Holiday, an 18-track project that Shattuck helped produce before her death, is scheduled to release on Oct. 18.

In the wake of the sad news, a number of tributes have poured in for the punk-rock singer.

Vammen kept it simple on Instagram, only writing, “My heart is forever broken,” alongside Shattuck’s husband’s announcement, which included a wedding photo of the couple.

Barnett posted a sweet tribute to his bandmate on Facebook alongside a shot of the pair on stage and thanked Shattuck for “changing his life.”

“There’s so much to say & I will in time but for now I just want to celebrate my bandmate & friend Kim,” he captioned the photo. “This month marks 29 years since we formed our group. I can’t say we always succeeded but there was not one night we stepped on stage & didn’t try & be the best band in the world. Sometimes we actually succeeded…….”

“I love you Kim, we are family, thanks for changing my life,” he added.

Fans on Twitter also mourned the singer.

“I’m rarely shaken to the core by news that a musician I don’t really know has died. But this one really took the wind out of my sails. Kim Shattuck‘s singing brought me so much joy, I even wrote a song about the joy her music gave me in the saddest situations. Truly awful news,” wrote one user.

“Heartbroken about Kim. One of the all time greats. How could anyone be such a brilliant pop songwriter, singer, screamer, and such a total punk-rock badass, and be so insanely cute at the same time? No one funnier or cooler. We love you, Kim,” added someone else.

“Absolutely gutted to hear that Kim Shattuck has passed after a battle with ALS. Immensely talented, inspirational, ferocious and sweet whether with the Pandoras, Muffs, Pixies or Coolies. An absolute icon,” wrote another person.

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