Rockers Pay Tribute to Budgie’s Burke Shelley After Musician’s Death

Several notable members of the rock and metal community gave their respects to Burke Shelley following the musician's death on Monday (Jan. 10) at age 71.

Shelley was the lead vocalist, bassist and co-songwriter of Budgie, the pioneering Welsh proto-metal group that influenced metal musicians all over the world.

This week, those who saluted the late performer included Metallica's Lars Ulrich, Opeth's Mikael Akerfeldt and King Diamond. Metallica early in their career covered two songs by Budgie — "Breadfan," later included on 1998's Garage Inc., and "Crash Course in Brain Surgery."

See the various tributes near the bottom of this post.

Among the first to salute Shelley was Ulrich. Per Classic Rock, the drummer said in an Instagram Story, "Thank you Burke for everything you did for heavy music and much next level appreciation for co-writing and creating two songs that Metallica were honored to record over the years."

On Facebook, Akerfeldt revealed that he "almost choked on my coffee this morning when I read that one of my idols, the great Burke Shelley of Budgie had passed away. What a terrible loss! … Thank you Burke, for all your fantastic music!"

Shelley was the only constant member of Budgie during their three stints of activity (1967–1988, 1995–1996 and 1999–2010). Born on April 10, 1950, he later formed Budgie in 1967, first with drummer Ray Phillips and guitarists Kevin Newton and Brian Goddard. Budgie then released 11 studio albums before disbanding for good.

On Monday, Shelley's daughter Ela wrote, "It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my father, John Burke Shelley. He passed away this evening in his sleep at Heath Hospital in Cardiff, his birth town."

Ginger Wildheart

King Diamond

Mikael Akerfeldt (Opeth)

Mike Portnoy (Sons of Apollo, The Winery Dogs, etc.)

Phil Campbell (Motorhead)

Steve Albini (Recording Engineer)

Rockers We Lost in 2021

R.I.P. to the rockers who died in 2021.