Pete Burns is an English singer-songwriter, author and television personality, who founded the band Dead or Alive in 1980, in which he was vocalist and songwriter, and which rose to mainstream success with their 1985 single “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)”. He later rose to further celebrity status in the British media following his appearance on Celebrity Big Brother 2006 and his own television show, Pete’s PA in 2007.
In 1978 Burns married hairdresser Lynne Corlett, with whom he remained married for 28 years, until 2006. That year, on 9 February, he announced his engagement to his partner, Michael Simpson, on Channel 4’s daytime television show Richard & Judy, where he displayed their matching engagement rings designed by Vivienne Westwood. The following day, Simpson called off the engagement citing that he was finding it difficult to deal with the newfound fame, although their engagement was soon back on and their civil partnership took place on 6 July. Burns appeared on Celebrity Wife Swap, which aired on 30 September 2007, where he lived with Neil Ruddock for five days. Simpson also took part in the programme. Burns made a statement saying that gay marriage does not work and that it is better to be married to a woman.
In November 2006, Burns recounted his and others’ experiences with complications of cosmetic surgery in a TV special entitled Pete Burns’ Cosmetic Surgery Nightmares for the UK ITV network. Paparazzi followed Burns around following his arrest for assault in 2006 (the charges for which were later dropped) and his attempts to revive his career, in the documentary Pete Burns Unspun on Living TV. In January 2007 Burns announced that he was planning to sue the cosmetic surgeon, Dr Maurizio Viel, who performed his lip surgery, for £1 million. In September 2009 Burns reached an out-of-court settlement for £450,000.
In March 2009, Burns was admitted to a London hospital after collapsing, due to kidney failure. He was diagnosed with seven large kidney stones, which were removed with laser surgery.