Kim Shattuck, frontwoman for The Muffs, dead at age 56

Kim Shattuck, 2nd from left; Omnivore RecordingsKim Shattuck, frontwoman, songwriter and lead guitarist for the 1990s Southern California pop-punk band The Muffs, died Wednesday at age 56.

Shattuck's death was announced by her husband, Kevin Sutherland, in a post on his private Instagram account that was re-posted by The Muffs co-founder Melanie Vammen.  Sutherland wrote in part that Shattuck "passed away peacefully in her sleep after a two-year struggle with ALS." 

ALS, short for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is an incurable, fatal progressive neurological disease that ultimately results in complete loss of muscular function.

Shattuck co-founded The Muffs with Vammen in 1991 and, after a series of EPs and singles, they released their self-titled debut album in 1993.  The project included the single "Sad Tomorrow," which enjoyed the greatest commercial success of any of their releases.  The Muffs also contributed a cover of Kim Wilde's 1981 hit "Kids in America" to the soundtrack for the 1995 hit film comedy Clueless, while their 1999 song "I Wish That I Could Be You" was featured in an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Shattuck also briefly joined The Pixies in 2013, stepping in for then-recently departed bassist Kim Deal, but was fired only months later, apparently a bad fit for the more introspective band. 

Shattuck's latest band project was the trio The Coolies, with Vammen and Palmyra Delran.  Proceeds from their self-titled debut EP, released last summer, went to ALS research, though Shattuck kept her own diagnosis private.

A new album from The Muffs, their first in five years, is due October 18.

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