John Graham Mellor (August 21, 1952 – December 22, 2002) better known as Joe Strummer, was the co-founder, lyricist, rhythm guitarist and lead singer of the English punk rock band The Clash, The Mescaleros and (temporarily) The Pogues, in addition to his own solo music career.
The former Clash frontman died today, 15 years ago, at his home in Somerset, victim of an undiagnosed congenital heart defect. His estate was valued at just under £1 million, and he left all the money to his wife Lucinda. His body was cremated, and his ashes were given to his family.
U2 singer Bono called the Clash "the greatest rock band" and said they "wrote the rule book" for later acts.
Billy Bragg said Strummer was the driving force who helped give punk its "political edge".
Writer Jon Savage said: "In 1977, the Clash did one of the best live shows I've ever seen. Joe Strummer in particular gave it his all - and thereby inspired a whole generation."
Born in Ankara, Turkey and the son of a diplomat, Strummer, whose real name was Mellor, was middle class and public school educated but became a hugely admired figure as the musical voice of rebellion.
The Clash scored 16 top 40 hits including Rock the Casbah, Bankrobber and I Fought the Law. Should I Stay or Should I Go? reached number one after the group split up when it was used in a Levi's ad.
The group's third album London Calling was named the greatest album of the 80s by Rolling Stone magazine - even though it was released in 1979.
Below a gallery of Joe's photos.