Obituaries
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    Mark Smith, 60, singer and founder of post-punk band the Fall

    Mark E. Smith of the Fall performing at the Hammersmith Palais on April 1, 2007, in London. This was the last scheduled concert at the historic West London venue, immortalised by the Clash song “White Man In Hammersmith Palais.”
    Jim Dyson/Getty Images
    Mark E. Smith of the Fall performing at the Hammersmith Palais on April 1, 2007, in London. This was the last scheduled concert at the historic West London venue, immortalised by the Clash song “White Man In Hammersmith Palais.”

    LONDON — Mark E. Smith, singer and driving force of the British post-punk band the Fall, died Wednesday. He was 60.

    The Fall manager and Mr. Smith’s partner Pam Vander — also known as Pam Van Damned — said Mr. Smith died at his home. The cause of death wasn’t immediately available. The band had canceled a string of shows last year because of Mr. Smith’s health.

    He formed The Fall when punk hit 1970s Manchester, and the gray industrial English city sprouted innovative bands including Joy Division and the Buzzcocks.

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    Irascible and inimitable, Mr. Smith kept the Fall going for four decades and more than 30 albums. He was the band’s only permanent member, hiring, firing, and falling out with several dozen musicians along the way.

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    Spiky, unpredictable, and poetic, the band was never a huge commercial success but had a big influence on artists.

    Simon Wolstencroft, who was the Fall’s drummer from 1986 until 1997, said Mr. Smith was ‘‘iconic.’’

    ‘‘His influences travel a long, long way to bands like Pulp, and new bands now like Cabbage, and many other bands have been influenced by him. It’s a sad day,’’ Wolstencroft told the BBC.