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Happy Mondays bassist Paul Ryder dies, aged 58

Tributes are being paid across the music industry for the influential musician

Happy Mondays bassist Paul Ryder dies, aged 58

Happy Mondays bassist Paul Ryder has died, aged 58.

A statement shared by the band confirmed the musician died on Friday morning (15th July). No cause of death was shared. 

The statement reads: “The Ryder family and Happy Mondays band members are deeply saddened and shocked to say that Paul Ryder passed away this morning A true pioneer and legend. He will be forever missed. We thank you for respecting the privacy of all concerned at this time. Long live his funk x”

Ryder formed the Happy Mondays with his brother Shaun in Salford, Manchester in 1980. The original line-up was completed by Gary Whelan on drums, Paul Davis on keyboard, Mark Day on guitar and later, Bez and Rowetta on vocals and percussion. 

Known for their fusions of rock and rave sounds, and as figureheads of "Madchester" era, Paul Ryder was credited as providing the group with their trademark groove. Happy Mondays released five studio albums between 1987 and 2007. Among their hits were singles ‘24 Hour Party People’, ‘Step On’ and ‘Kinky Afro’. 

Paul was also an actor, and played a cameo role as a gangster in the 2002 biographical comedy-drama film 24 Hour Party People, which documented the Manchester music scene between 1976 and 1992. Paul himself was played by actor Paul Popplewell. 

Outside of his playing with Happy Mondays, Ryder released an album with his band, Big Arm, in 2008 and performed live with The Tom Tom Club alongside Talking Heads’ Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth. 

Tributes have been paid to Ryder following news of his death. You can read some of these below.