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Crazy Town Lead Shifty Shellshock Dies At 49

Crazy Town Lead Shifty Shellshock Dies At 49

Shifty Shellshock, the lead musician of rap-rock band Crazy Town has died in his home in Los Angeles. He was 49 years old.

The musician was best known for the 2001 single Butterfly, which was a US number one hit, and reached number three in the UK.

Born Seth Binzer, he founded Crazy Town in 1995, and later enjoyed success with DJ Paul Oakenfold on the club track Starry Eyed Surprise.

Shifty was found dead at his home in Los Angeles on Monday 24 June. A cause of death has not yet been disclosed.

He was born in 1974 to a father who was already thriving in the entertainment industry. His father Rollin Binzer directed the 1973 concert film Ladies And Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones and designed album covers for Chess Records; while his mother, Leslie Brooks, was a model.

He was inspired to make rap music after discovering the Beastie Boys’ Licensed to Ill album, and formed Crazy Town after meeting Bret “Epic” Mazur at a recording session in the early 1990s.

Although Crazy Town has enjoyed a fair share of success, it was not all rosy at the beginning. 

The first two singles from their debut album The Gift Of The Game failed to chart, and the group withdrew from the Ozzfest festival in 2000, after Binzer was arrested for throwing a chair out of a window while drunk.

However, their single, ‘Butterfly rose to the top, thanks largely to Binzer’s indelibly catchy chorus: “Come my lady / Come, come my lady / You’re my butterfly / Sugar, baby”.

Shifty also had a rough personal life as he was addicted to drugs and alcohol.

In 2012, he was arrested for domestic abuse and cocaine possession. In the same year, he was also taken to hospital after losing consciousness, and fell into a coma before recovering.

He was arrested for driving under the influence in 2022; and was thrown off a Nu Metal tour last year after a gig in South Carolina ended in a bloody on-camera fight with his bandmate, Bobby Reeves.

The musician is survived by his three children, Halo, Gage and Phoenix.

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