Full name: Keith Charles Flint
From: Essex, United Kingdom
Born: 17 September 1969 (Redbridge, London, England)
Dead: 4 March 2019 (Great Dunmow, Essex, England)
Role: vocalist and dancer
On 4 March 2019, following concerns for his welfare, police were called to Flint's home, where he was found dead. The police were not treating his death as suspicious. Liam Howlett, confirmed via Instagram that his death was a suicide, saying. "The news is true, I can't believe I'm saying this but our brother Keith took his own life over the weekend."
Rest In Peace Keith Flint. I remember meeting Keith on tour in Australia. I didn’t know he was in a band, but what a good dude. I thought he was an Australian roadie. Later that year ran into him backstage at Pinkpop and said “hey! Good to see you! Who you working for?” He said “ I’m in a band, I’m here playing.” I said, “oh how nice, how was your show?” He said, “we are playing after Rage. We are headlining this festival.” I’m like, well I’m gonna check that out! One of the very few bands in history to kick Rage Against The Machine’s ass in a live setting. They were tremendous and Keith was an electric, powerful, compelling and dangerous frontman. I was very much influenced by them and continue to be. Had the great pleasure of running into Keith last summer and was reminded what a good and talented dude he was. Rest well, Firestarter. (Suicide can be prevented, you CAN get help: please go to save.org)
BRITISH MUSIC HISTORY - The Prodigy
Our Legend - Keith Flint
To my darling Prodigy fans .I am absolutely devastated. Thank You for your calls and messages. Today Liam has lost his brother , music icon Keith Flint.There will never be anyone like Keith.I know you are hurting so am I. Regardless of his dynamic image he was a beautiful soul .He was kind and humble.When I recorded the vocals for "Smack My Bitch Up" and saw Keith ,I was excited to meet him.After I layed my vocals down at the studio..Keith looked up at me with a great smile, waved his hands up in the air and said "your vocals are Amazing ,this is gonna be huge" .We met few times after that at the recording studio with Liam.
He was intelligent ,always so happy , bubbly and full of admiration.He believed in good vibes .He said I was deep .We had a great aura around us. I know his soul was looking for light,searching for something more .When one gets to speak on a personal level ,we connect tend to build more respect for the person . I feel so empty today ,tears hasn't stopped .I prayed for him and am thinking of all the band members including Maxim. At this time of distress. May God give strength to his family , friends & fans.
Faith strengthens us.
I shall miss Keith terribly .He shall always be part of us! My family too are saddened by the news today and send you all their love!
My Prodigy boy's are No.1 and always shall be No.1 in music history.
Love you Keith
May your soul rest in peace!
I loved Flinty. At times he fucking terrified me! He often mercilessly ripped the piss out of me in the early days when I first played with them…(deservedly!) but I loved him. What I’ll remember the most though is laughing - sitting in his kitchen all night making each other cry and scream with laughter till I couldn’t breathe.
There was a period when we were ridiculously close, when he was my closest friend. We lived together for a long time during which he sorted my head out on many occasions. He always bigged up my musicianship skills but never gave himself credit for having any. At all… Although the Flint solo album we worked on together was never released, I still to this day think his vocals were incredible on many of the tracks. He was far more than just a scary face and a hair cut.
It’s taken me many years to get to the point I’m at today where I feel nothing but proud of the tracks I played on with Keith. Firestarter and Breathe are part of this country’s musical make up and history. I played an incredibly small part in that.. It was all about him, in my opinion…
I lost contact with him a while ago and had been planning on getting back in contact again just recently, the fact that I didn’t and that I wasn’t there when he needed help will always be with me… I’m sorry mate.
Very sad to hear of the death of Keith Flint. I was backstage when Prodigy were playing a festival soon after ‘Firestarter’ came out. I was knocked out their records and the intensity of their show was awesome. But, feeling a lot of anger in Keith’s delivery, I somehow assumed he would hate us - Queen, etc. So I just nodded in respect when I saw him at the other side of the stage while the gear was being changed over. He ran straight over and did that Wayne’s World tongue in cheek bowing thing, and then spent a good five minutes telling me very warmly how much he loved our music and had been inspired by it in his life. After that, I perceived him very differently. And I enjoyed their records even more ! But that’s the only conversation we ever had. How horribly sad that he got to the point of taking his own life at an age when he was still so potent. A tragedy of modern life. RIP Keith. Bri
At the Q Awards years ago, when @NoelGallagher was saying he was leaving Ibiza because I’d moved there, and @DamonAlbarn refused to be in the same picture as me, and @PaulWellerHQ was saying he’d rather eat his own shit than work with me, Keith Flint came over, gave me a hug, and said how thrilled he was for my success.
Keith, I only met you once, but I shed a tear at the news of your death. In our business, there are no prizes for being kind, but if there was, that Grammy would be yours.
It’s quite unbelievable, Guy was a don, ultrapunk took it to another level RIP. A sad sad loss for an ikon wayyy wayyy tonyoung .
I discovered the Prodigy through Experience, back in 1992. There used to be a rave record store in Leicester called 5HQ – quite a frightening place, a bit like in Human Traffic. We used to hang around in there. I think they were playing Charly: I bought it, took it home and played it on my decks for days. It just didn’t really sound like anything else. There was a tribal quality to the beat. Somehow it was aggressive like punk – it had an edge that other things around the time didn’t. But it also had a pop sensibility. It really felt commercial even though it wasn’t. We were rave kids with the baggies and the T-shirts, but Keith was next level. He was always well dressed, a real one-off – you could see where everything came from but he had his twist on it. They’re the ones that last.
I think the first time we met him was at V festival. It’s always quite nerve-racking when you meet someone you really admire. You think people are gonna be more mad, more like the person they were on stage, but he was gentle, sweet, encouraging. That was the beautiful thing – he was really interested in the music we were making. When we made the second record, he came down to the session and he was so supportive. We could see it was nice for him, maybe, to see through the eyes of someone going through it again. He’d been there and done it, and he saw these young kids doing the same thing. I’d always go and see them live, so I’d see him backstage, fleetingly, but it always felt like he had our backs, which was amazing, considering that it was him that made us wanna do it ourselves. I’m heartbroken, really. It stops you in your tracks.
Serge Pizzorno, Kasabian
We’re so sad to hear of the passing of Keith. We played a lot of gigs with the Prodigy over the years and they were always friendly and supportive. he was an amazing frontman and the pure jolt of adrenaline that was Firestarter will not be forgotten.
A few memories that stick out: Keith came on stage during our gig at the Astoria. It was such a buzz that he was there leading the rave, but while dancing, he kicked the mixing desk plug out and all the sound went off. He just stood there defiant with the crowd going crazy. The feeling was that it didn’t matter: he was Keith from the Prodigy and he could whatever the fuck he wanted.
We also have a clear image of Keith at a festival in Australia. They had just played a massive headline show and absolutely rocked it. We were running around and larking about, and there was Keith in his towelling robe, eating cornflakes outside his dressing room. For some reason, it’s an image that has stuck with us. I think it made us realise that maybe this is how you navigate it: you can be the firestarter to the most extreme extent on stage, but you must also be the cornflakes and towelling robe guy. He was a true original and he will be missed.
Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons, The Chemical Brothers
The Prodigy were to me the Who of the 90s onwards. Exciting and dangerous to watch. The sound of rave, of the huge surge of the acid house generation breaking out. The sound of generators in far-flung fields, of getting under the fence at Glastonbury. The sound of jeering at pompous MPS brayingly grandstanding to put through the ludicrous Criminal Justice Act, the “repetitive beats” Bill. The Prog were techno, punk, big beat, they were electronica, named after a synthesiser. Even with the first “gimmicky” hit Charley, with its samples from a Central Office of Information film, beloved by grinning acid house clubbers, the Prodigy had an intense uncontainable energy. With Firestarter, they really did ignite with blast force.
I can still remember exactly where I was when Keith’s “I’m the firestarter / The twisted firestarter” came blistering out of the ghettoblaster speakers. It nearly knocked me across the room. Yes there were genuine concerns, never really satisfied for me about Smack My Bitch Up. Was it glorifying domestic abuse? Or was it about heroin? Or both? Yet they never gave the impression of being about cheap shock.
There was a melodic richness there, and they weren’t just contained by the 90s. It wasn’t just music for a jilted generation. They headlined major festivals until the present day. Out of Space and Breathe remain dance classics, dropped into mixes and remixed by generation after generation of DJs and producers. The Prodigy’s success endured. None of it could have happened without a unique frontman in Keith Flint. He drew drama out of the music, scarily, entertainingly. A master of stagecraft. We need rebellious, challenging music like that of the Prodigy so much more right now.
Flint was born in Redbridge, London, England, to Clive and Yvonne Flint, on 17 September 1969 and initially raised in East London; in the mid-1970s his parents moved out to Springfield, Essex. His childhood was described as unhappy and he feuded with his parents, who parted when he was young. He attended the Boswells School in Chelmsford and moved to Braintree after leaving school where he eventually met Liam Howlett at local rave club the Barn in Braintree. Flint was described as being a "bright boy with dyslexia" and was disruptive in class. He was expelled from school at the age of 15. Flint then worked as a roofer and later enthusiastically embraced the acid house scene of the late 80s.
As said Keith came from a broken home, and had never really wanted a proper career. Having been kicked out by his dad, he spent some time in Israel, as a market-stall trader.
He came back to the UK later, living in some accommodation in Braintree with friends, alongside Sharky. He had grown his hair long, and usually wore an Afghan coat. Because of this, he had earned the nickname Sheepdog.
Keith eventually became a big fan of raving in it's inception around 1988 and was a regular on the M25 motorway scene. He spent a lot of his time dancing in The Barn in Braintree. Having never danced before in his life, he managed to hone his dancing skills there, developing himself into the fast-paced act we know him as today.
By contrast, Keith's friend Leeroy, who he had met at The Barn, was more into calmer dancing, in the style of funk. The two were quite a contrasting pair, and Sharky would often tag along with them.
Having seen and heard local DJ Liam Howlett at the Barn, Keith managed to approach him, and got a tape of a DJ set, along with Liam's own material on the b-side created at home.
When Keith and Leeroy listened to Liam's work, they were stunned. They wanted to start up a stage act with Liam as soon as possible, with Keith, Leeroy and Sharky as the dancers and Liam as the centre of the act, at the keyboards. Liam agreed, but said he needed an MC. On the date of their first ever gig, reggae MC Maxim Reality joined them, having been recruited by the act's manager Ziggy.
Keith is the band's most popular and regonized member and is often referred to as the 'frontman' for the Prodigy, due to his new-found vocal role in 1996's Firestarter, a claim which he denies. On stage Keith is a real spectacle - a human blur most of the time, shouting, spitting, and "visually expressing" himself, as he puts it.
After the Experience era, Keith began to show the first of many changes to himself - a part of the evolution to the Keith we know now. In 1994, he was often seen on stage wearing eyeliner, dancing to the tunes of the Jilted era.
In 1995, Keith took a big image change when he appeared on stage at the Prodigy's legendary headline slot on the second stage at Glastonbury Festival 1995. His hair was cropped short, and dyed pink. The eyeliner was more evident, as were his new facial piercings, and he danced more frantically than previously. He took to coming on stage in a giant transparent plastic ball.
By the end of 1995, reports were seeping out from Braintree that Keith had done some punk-style vocals for a new Prodigy track, called Firestarter. This was premiered at the Island in Ilford, Essex, which was followed by more UK dates, in which Keith had shaved his colourful hair into a double mohican style. Spiked up on each side, having it some kind of colour, and having it shaved in the middle.
He said "I've been screaming with my body for the past six years, so now it's time to scream with my mouth". (although he can't sing, his voice has a superb tone).
When The Fat Of The Land was released, almost half the tracks had Keith doing his snarling vocals. Thanks to the videos for Firestarter and Breathe, Keith had became an icon for 90s pop culture.
Keith is known to be every parents nightmare, and also has a lot of complaints about how scary he is. When the Prodigy's Firestater video was shown on TOTP TV a record number of complaints were sent to TOTP complaining about Keith Flint. One particular parent, in a letter to the BBC complaining about that video, have called him "a man in need of urgent medical attention". In 1996, he came second to Marilyn Manson in the Nutter Of The Year category of Kerrang's Reader's Poll.
Prior to the Prodigy Keith only seemed into round the world trips, motorcycles, festivals and raves. After school, he traveled a lot, visiting many places in Europe and the Middle-East. Keith still says today that he wouldn't know what he would be like or what he would be doing know if he wasnt in the Prodigy. Keith is the band's dancer and "singer. Keith sees performing live as his drug, hes way of getting rid of all the built up pressure inside him. He used to dance more "normal", but now he just jumps around and acts spastic that gives everyone a good laugh. He also likes to stick his tounge out a lot too.
Keith is also known to be the loudest, but most nicest member of the group. He loves danger - already when he was little, he used to play with plugs - seeing how far he'd dare to push the plug in and touch the terminal on the other end (he never got a shock)... And he announced in the summer of 1998 that he'd be competing in the superbike race called the Clubman's Race, racing at speeds up to 160mph. There are also reports of Flint being a keen gardener, and a lover of animals. If you have ever watched the "Prodigy Unauthorised" video you will even see a clip where Keiths old head master tells how Keith Flint used to feed the rabbit in the school playground.
Keith dated TV presenter Gail Porter before her marriage to Toploader guitarist Dan Hipgrave. They were known as 'Beauty and the Beast' due to Gail's innocent beauty and Flint's appearance. The couple split in 2000, because it was too far away for Porter to commute on a daily basis for her work in the city and their relationship wasn't working out. After that Keith was married to Japanese DJ Mayumi Kai also known as DJ Gedo Super Mega Bitch.
During the late 1990s, when The Prodigy were at their commercial peak, Flint became known in the UK press for his extensive body piercing and tattooing. In an interview, he stated that his most painful tattoo was the text "Inflicted" across his stomach. He stated that it felt like he was on an altar being ritualistically scarred by a Satanic beast. The tattoo was designed by bandmate Liam Howlett.
Keith Flint learned to play guitar in 2001/2002 and was sending parts to Liam with intention of playing live on stage with it at Leeds/Reading festivals in 2002 in their original AONO phase.
"He still can't play, but that's the point" Howlett said. "If I wanted a guitar player who played really well I'd find someone who could do that, but the idea of this band is DIY" "I like that Keith can't really play the guitar and that what he plays isn't musical. It forces him to play in a style which is very, um, manic really, and it gets really good results... " "He's been throwing me loads of bits and pieces over the last few months to put into the songs. It's been refreshing to hear one of the band actually putting in some musical ideas. " Live though, is a no-go. "He's not ready to play live," Howlett said. "We've talked about it and maybe the next time we go out in England in six months he might play"" Source
He's a motorbike fan. He announced in the summer of 1998 that he'd be competing among professional racers. His first motorcycle competition was in October 1998, in which he came in 3rd (he was riding at speeds up to 160mph).
He also rode the 1500 miles from Britain to Southern Spain to attend the 2007 Spanish motorcycle Grand Prix, and also races in club competitions. He is known to have ridden with Lee Thompson of the band Madness. He owned a motorcycle racing team, 'Team Traction Control', which won three Isle of Man TT races in 2015, ridden by Ian Hutchinson. Team also competed in the British Supersport Championship.
He loves danger - already when he was little, he used to play with plugs - seeing how far he'd dare to push the plug in and touch the terminal on the other end (he never got a shock)... Even in racing, he loves dangerous situations ("Every now and then you have something that's a near-death situation. I used to enjoy crashing as much as riding. " - Keith)
He's into gardening ("Or he's out digging a pond in his garden that's four feet deep and 20-odd foot long. He loves his gardening. " - Leeroy)
His grades in school were terrible, and he has no skills - so the Prodigy have helped him a lot to find what he can and want to do. As he said it, he literally walked out of the crowd to be a dancer in the band, instead of filling in some kind of application form.
When he was young: according to what his ex-schoolmates said, he was very quiet ("He was really a lovely fella, really quiet. I got the shock of my life when I saw him all these years later"), and liked animals and fishing. ("One day on the way home from school he found a sick hedgehog. Keith tried nursing it back to health but it died. He was gutted. ")
Some of his goals in life are to live out his ultimate sex experience (with a lot of chicks), have every part of his body pierced, and try all the hair colours. He has about a hundred nose rings, earings and a tounge ring. He has tattoos including one across his stomach that says "Inflicted". That very same tattoo across his body is actually the only one of its kind as it was designed by the Prodigy's main-man Liam Howlett.
What describes his personality the best are the lyrics of Firestarter, which he wrote about himself. Actually the first time he liked something he had done was when he first did Firestarter. ("For the first time I'd liked something I'd done. Not just musically, but personally. [...] I got home and I put it on and I thought: 'I fuckin'like this,' and I felt this massive wave of emotion... ")