​Influential music photographer Brian Griffin has died aged 75

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Influential British music photographer and documentary filmmaker Brian Griffin has died aged 75.

Griffin passed away peacefully in his sleep, according to a close friend of the artist, Vaughn George, who confirmed the news yesterday.

“I am heartbroken but I will cherish every conversation, the time we spent together and all the wonderful experiences,” George said in a Twitter post. “Rest peacefully my friend.”

Named “photographer of the decade” by The Guardian in 1989, Griffin was famed for his work alongside prominent musicians including Depeche Mode, The Jam, and Billy Idol.

His work included the renowned album art for Echo & The Bunnymen’s ‘Heaven Up Here’, which was named the best album cover of 1981 by NME, and one of the best ever by Rolling Stone.

Griffin also shot the famous album art for Depeche Mode’s ‘A Broken Frame’, which was named photograph of the decade by TIME in 1990.

Amongst his other works are portraits and album covers for the likes of Ringo Star, Iggy Pop, Queen, Howard Jones, and R.E.M, as well as a documentary around the life of Paul McCartney in 2004.

Griffin was born in Birmingham in 1948. He claimed that growing up in industrial Midlands helped to define his recognisable style and aesthetic.

After studying photography in Manchester, Griffin would go on to make his hobby a career as he went freelance in 1972, and was introduced to the world of music photography through his job at Stiff Records.

Bill Brewster paid tribute to the late artist on Twitter yesterday, writing: “Sorry to hear about the death of Brian Griffin. When I interviewed fellow snapper Peter Ashworth, he said he was a source of inspiration. He’s a stunning photographer I learned how to light by seeing Brian’s pictures and thinking: ‘These excite me’.”

Read some tributes to the late photographer below, and check out a collection of his work (via BBC) here.

Gemma Ross is Mixmag’s Assistant Editor, follow her on Twitter

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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