Singer

Born: December 26th, 1959

Died: November 9th, 2017

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Chuck Mosley, who has died aged 57, was an American singer and musician best known as the frontman of San Franciscan rock group Faith No More on their earliest recordings.

Although he was replaced before the band became a huge international success, his work on their first two albums We Care a Lot (1985) and Introduce Yourself (1987) is seen as definitive by many fans, while the title track of the former record – then a minor hit – has become one of the group’s most-loved songs.

Following his time in Faith No More, Mosley was briefly the singer with seminal Washington DC hardcore punk band Bad Brains and the singer with his own band Cement. He released two records with the latter group, 1993’s Cement and 1994’s The Man With the Action Hair, but a bus crash on tour with the latter record left him with a serious back injury which led to a year-long period of recuperation.

Once he had recovered, Mosley moved to Cleveland, Ohio, with his English partner Pip Logan and their children, and left rock music behind to work as a chef (he said the most famous person he ever cooked for was Bob Dylan). Yet he continued to write music, while the reputation of his Faith No More work was kept alive by a new generation of artists who saw it as the beginning of a new sound.

While Mike Patten, Mosley’s replacement in FNM, had a more obviously pop-influenced voice, Mosley employed a vocal style which drew on elements of rap as well as rock and metal; a previously-unheard form of delivery in rock which was in tune with the melting pot nature of the then-young MTV network.

Although other artists like the Beastie Boys and Red Hot Chili Peppers had the same idea around the same time, We Care a Lot was a key song in the emergence of a sound which later fed into such hugely successful rap-rock groups as Limp Bizkit and Korn.

In 2009 Mosley released his first solo record Will Rap Over Hard Rock For Food, with his solo band the VUA (‘Vandals Ugainst Alliteracy’) and a number of guests, including Korn singer Jonathan Davis and his old Faith No More bandmate Roddy Bottum. Despite long-running legal disputes with Faith No More, he remained on reasonable terms with the band and made live guest appearances with them in the 2010s.

Born in Hollywood, Los Angeles, Charles Henry Mosley III was adopted, and grew up around the Los Angeles area. He first met and befriended Faith No More bassist Billy Gould in 1977 and the pair went on to play in a group named The Animated together, while Mosley also played with a post-punk group from San Francisco named Haircuts That Kill. When he was recruited to the embryonic Faith No More the band’s ex-singers, already included future Hole singer Courtney Love.

Mosley’s departure from the band with which he made his name was precipitated by erratic behaviour brought on by his drinking, and while fatherhood caused him to give up the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle for many years, a family statement on his death named “the disease of addiction” as the cause.

Faith No More collectively remembered him as “a reckless and caterwauling force of energy who delivered with conviction”. He is survived by his partner Pip, daughters Erica and Sophie, and one grandson.

By David Pollock