Karl Wallinger, Who Sang With World Party and the Waterboys, Dies at 66

Karl Wallinger, a Welsh singer-songwriter who helped define college radio in the 1980s and ’90s as a member of the Waterboys and the founder of World Party, died on Sunday at his home in Hastings, England. He was 66.

His daughter, Nancy Zamit, confirmed the death but did not provide a cause. Mr. Wallinger suffered a brain aneurysm in 2001 that forced him to stop performing for several years.

Following on the heels of the post-punk, new wave and new romantic movements of the early 1980s, Mr. Wallinger embodied something of a throwback to the classical pop and folk styles of an earlier era, with music and lyrics influenced by the Beatles and Bob Dylan.

Though he rejected the label “retro,” onstage he looked like a stylish hippie, with long stringy hair and tinted round glasses that would have fit in at Woodstock.

Mr. Wallinger was widely admired for his instrumental skills. He primarily played keyboards for the Waterboys, an influential folk-rock band founded by the Scottish musician Mike Scott, but on his own he usually played a guitar — which, though he was right-handed, he played upside down, with his left hand.

After two albums with the Waterboys, Mr. Wallinger left in 1985 to form World Party, which was at first a one-man act: He wrote all the music and recorded all the parts in the studio. Only when he began to tour did he add members and make it a true band.

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