Steve Bronski, co-founder of the seminal band Bronski Beat, has died at the age of 61.
All three members of the original lineup were openly gay and their music - in particular debut album The Age of Consent - often referred to gay political issues.
Somerville, who left the group in 1985 to form The Communards, shared the news of Bronski's death on social media.
"Sad to hear Steve Bronski has died," he wrote. "He was a talented and a very melodic man.
"Working with him on songs and the one song that changed our lives and touched so many other lives, was a fun and exciting time. Thanks for the melody Steve."
Bronski's cause of death has not been disclosed.