Steve Strange, leader of the band Visage, has passed away following a heart attack. He was just 55 years old.

The announcement came via the official Visage website:

We are extremely saddened to announce that Steve Strange died at 11.15 local time on Thursday 12th February, in Sharm El Sheik International Hospital, Egypt. Steve died in his sleep, of Heart Failure. Steve's family, band members and friends are all distraught at this sudden news of his untimely death. Steve’s family request privacy at this extremely difficult time.

The early '80s London music environment had so many different scenes going on, but the one that made a bulk of the headlines at the time was the New Romantic movement. The unquestionable leader of that entire scene was Strange.

As lead singer of the band Visage -- whose lineup featured a who's who of the U.K. new wave scene over time including Midge Ure, Barry Adamson, John McGeoch, Rusty Egan and Billy Currie -- Strange helped usher in a more glamorous take on the post punk music scene. Visage are best remembered for their hit "Fade to Grey":

Late last year, Strange was admitted to the hospital with a bronchial infection and an intestinal blockage. "We understood that he had certain health problems but nothing we knew was life threatening," agent Pete Bassett told BBC News. "His friends and family are totally shocked, we had no idea anything like this was likely to happen."

Up until last year Strange had been working on a book of fashion styles based on the New Romantic movement. Tributes have come rolling in via Twitter from Boy George, Simon Le Bon of Duran Duran and Billy Idol:

Diffuser extends our condolences to Strange's friends and family during this difficult period.