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R.I.P. Greg Lee: Singer of Southern California Ska Band Hepcat Dead at 53

The band were stalwarts of the Southern California ska scene throughout the 1990s.

Source: MEGA

Hepcat vocalist Greg Lee died after suffering an aneurysm over the weekend.

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Greg Lee, one of the two lead vocalists for the long-running Southern California ska band Hepcat, died on Tuesday, March 19, the singer's partner revealed on social media. He was 53 years old.

Founded in 1989, Hepcat were staples on the California ska scene throughout the 1990s, playing a more traditional, soulful variation of the Jamaican style that distinguished the group from the era's countless ska-punk bands that would come to populate the genre.

According to a social media post from Lee's partner, Amanda Becker, the singer died after suffering a sudden brain aneurysm over the weekend at his home in the Los Angeles suburb of Paramount.

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"Greg had a massive brain aneurysm followed by cardiac arrest late Sunday, March 17 in our home in Paramount," Becker wrote. "I found him on the floor unconscious and not breathing. I immediately called for 911 and the first responders were through the door within moments. They were able to regain his pulse, but he was not able to breathe on his own. He has been on life support in the NICU ever since and has not regained consciousness. The neurologist let us know his case is very rare and that the moment was swift. He did not suffer.

"Greg is survived by his 4 children, Elsa, Vivienne, Khaleah, and our currently unnamed baby girl due in September. Also survived by his mother, Janice, his brothers, Michael, Steve, Tony, and sister, Jennifer. His children are his whole world.

"Gregory will also live on in every piece of music he wrote and recorded, in every photo and video you took at a Hepcat show or scooter rally, and in every memory you have of him. To all of his loving friends and fans, I am so sorry for this monumental loss. I do not have nearly enough superlatives to describe this incredible, beautiful, unique, and genuine man. My love."

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Source: MEGA

Lee was one of two lead vocalists for the long-running ska band.

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Hepcat's debut album, Out of Nowhere, was released in 1993, though they enjoyed their greatest visibility at the end of the decade, when they were signed to Rancid frontman Tim Armstrong's Hellcat Records imprint. (Hepcat often toured with Rancid, and Lee contributed backing vocals to the band's 1998 album Life Won't Wait.) That period saw the group's biggest hits, "No Worries" and "Can't Wait," as well on slots on the Vans Warped Tour and on late night TV shows like Late Night With Conan O'Brien. The group went on hiatus in 2000, but have regrouped and performed regularly over the last two decades.

Lee shared vocal duties in Hepcat with Alex Désert, who is also an actor best known for roles in Swingers, High Fidelity, and (more recently) as a voice actor on The Simpsons. Lee also performed with several other ska bands, including the Western Standard Time Ska Orchestra and the Aggrolites,

Hepcat were previously scheduled to perform at Southern California's inaugural No Values festival this summer alongside the Misfits, Iggy Pop and Suicidal Tendencies.


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