Keith Flint has been hailed as a “true pioneer, innovator and legend” by his Prodigy bandmates following his death aged 49.
The musician was found dead at his home in Essex on Monday morning by police.
Bandmate Liam Howlett claimed in a post on the band’s official Instagram that “our brother Keith took his own life over the weekend”. He said: “I’m shell shocked, f***** angry, confused and heart broken ….. r.i.p brother Liam.”
Howlett and fellow bandmate Maxim said in a statement: “It is with deepest shock and sadness that we can confirm the death of our brother and best friend Keith Flint.
“A true pioneer, innovator and legend.
“He will be forever missed.”
They added: “We thank you for respecting the privacy of all concerned at this time.”
Many stars have paid tribute to Flint, who rose to fame in the Brit Award-winning electronic band in the 1990s and was known for his bright green spiky hair.
Electronic music artists Chase And Status and Ed Simons from The Chemical Brothers were among those to have paid tribute to Flint.
A Twitter post from Chase And Status, who are considered pioneers in the big beat genre along with The Prodigy, said: “Absolutely devastated to hear the tragic news that the legend Keith Flint from @the_prodigy has passed away.
“Our thoughts & condolences are with all his friends and family. We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Keith and the life changing music they made and championed. RIP.”
Simons tweeted: “Oh gosh, so sad to hear about Keith Flint, he was always great fun to be around and very kind to Tom and I when we first started doing shows together.. great man.”
Singer Beverley Knight said she was “heartbroken”, and added: “Once the most innovative, fearless, ballsy bands to grace a stage and Keith was perfection up front.
“We have lost a Titan. #KeithFlint #Prodigy.”
Radio broadcaster Jo Whiley described Flint as an “absolute sweetheart” and an “incredible iconic frontman with a soft centre”.
Actress Kathy Burke tweeted: “He did what all music stars are meant to do; he frightened your mums and dads. RIP Keith Flint.”
Amazing Spaces host George Clarke said that he once spent the day with Flint, who he said “absolutely adored old buildings” and was a fan of his other programme, The Restoration Man.
Clarke wrote on Instagram: “He picked me up one day and we spent an amazing day together looking at old buildings, restorations and developments across Essex.”
Flint’s Grade II-listed Essex home, described by property website Rightmove as a “five-bedroom country house”, was listed as having had a sale price of £1,900,000 in March 2017.
The website says the property has period features, a cellar, a Victorian Hartley Botanic Greenhouse, an outdoor pool and pool house and an all-weather tennis court, and that it is sprawled over “approximately six acres of land”.
Jane Addison, who lives nearby and walks her dogs along a track next to the property every day, said Flint’s death was a “shock”.
She said she found out he had died after her son sent her a link to an online news article on Monday morning.
Remembering Flint fondly as a “friendly” animal-lover, she said: “I don’t know how many dogs he had, maybe eight-ish dogs, and he’d go round the fields on his quad, and when he wanted them to come back to him he’d shout ‘eggs and bacon’.”
She added: “He had lots of birds, canaries… in an aviary.”
Asked what he was like when she bumped into him on her walks, she replied: “Friendly, very nice. Always raised a hand and said hello.
Ms Addison also recalled sitting in between Flint and her son three years ago at a local Christmas Eve church service.
“Much better voice than my son who’s a rugby player and sitting between the two of them at Black Chapel at Christmas Eve was… my son bellowing and there’s Keith with a tuneful voice,” she said.
The Prodigy enjoyed hits with their tracks Firestarter and Breathe and were known for their fusion of techno, breakbeat and acid house, forged in the UK’s illegal rave scene, and their anti-establishment stance.
The band released their latest album No Tourists in November, their seventh consecutive number one record.
The Prodigy are scheduled to go on a US tour later this year, and they are also due to perform at London’s South West Four festival in August.
Essex Police, who were called to Flint’s home on Monday morning, said a 49-year-old man had been found dead and that the death is not being treated as suspicious.
An Essex Police spokeswoman said: “We were called to concerns for the welfare of a man at an address in Brook Hill, North End, just after 8.10am on Monday, March 4.
“We attended and, sadly, a 49-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene.
“His next of kin have been informed. The death is not being treated as suspicious and a file will be prepared for the coroner.”
An East of England Ambulance spokeswoman said: “We were called at 8.08am with reports of a man who was unconscious in Brook Hill, Dunmow.
“We sent an ambulance officer, Essex and Herts Air Ambulance and one ambulance. Sadly a man in his forties died at the scene.”