Angels and demons battled for Billy Mackenzie’s soul

SUICIDE ATA 39

BILLY LOVED HIS MOTHER

Billy Mackenzie was blessed with the voice of an angel but his life was cursed by the Prince of Darkness.

The Scottish singer and songwriter, known for his operatic tenor voice was lead singer of 1980s band The Associates. He killed himself on January 22, 1997. He was 39 years old.

Depression and the death of his mother Lily of cancer in 1996 are believed to have caused him to take an overdose of pills.

Tragic deaths plagued the Mackenzie family.

Four years after Billy’s suicide, his brother Jimmy, 32, died of an overdose in a Dundee Scotland flat.

Billy’s father Jim, 66, died of cancer three years after Jimmy.

In 2010, Billy’s other brother Johnny died in a fire in the same flat where Jimmy had died.

And in 2013, Billy’s sister Lizzie McIntosh, 51, fell to her death from a second-floor tenement window in Dundee.

Billy Mackenzie was born in Dundee in 1957, the eldest son in that large and tragedy-ridden Catholic family.

He was bullied at school and sought refuge in music, wrote Tom Doyle in his 1998 biography ‘The Glamour Chase.’

Billy began the life of a wanderer at a young age, traveling to New Zealand when he was 16 and across America a year later. He lived and work in Los Angeles for six months.

“Billy MacKenzie was a maverick figure within the music industry with a wild and mischievous spirit,” Doyle wrote.

BONO TALKS ABOUT BILLY


The songs Billy composed were recorded by such famous artists as Shirley Bassey. He had a future, but the Prince of Darkness caught up with him in the garden shed of his father’s house in Auchterhouse, Scotland.


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