Tributes for Pete Shelley from UK punk band Buzzcocks

The Buzzcocks, with Pete Shelley (R), Steve Diggle (L), and Danny Farrant (rear) performed at "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" in Los Angeles in 2006

Tributes flooded in on Friday for "brilliant talent" Pete Shelley, the lead singer and songwriter with influential British pop punk band the "Buzzcocks", who died in Estonia aged 63.

Shelley helped found the Manchester band in 1976, and was responsible the band's catchy sound and best-known song "Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn't've)" in 1978.

"It's with great sadness that we confirm the death of Pete Shelley, one of the UK's most influential and prolific songwriters and co-founder of the seminal original punk band Buzzcocks," the band wrote on Facebook.

"Pete's music has inspired generations of musicians over a career that spanned five decades and with his band and as a solo artist, he was held in the highest regard by the music industry and by his fans around the world."

Shelley is believed to have suffered a heart attack at his home in Estonia, where he lived with his wife.

The band helped create the New Wave genre, fusing punk's energy with a more melodic sound.

Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea said the band's "Why Can't I Touch It" was "one of my favourite rock songs ever. Absolutely stunning. God bless Pete Shelley".

Pearl Jam's Jeff Ament said on Twitter that he was "Hollow Inside", a reference to another of the band's songs, adding that playing shows alongside Shelley was "one of the highlights of my life."

"I listened to Singles and Tension as much as any records I've owned. Thank you, Pete," he wrote.

Shelley also wrote the theme for Channel 4's coverage of the Tour de France, soundtracking the event for a generation of British cycling fans throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

US rockers the Pixies tweeted "RIP Pete Shelley" while Simply Red frontman Mick Hucknall wrote "Thank you Buzzcocks' punk pop icon Pete Shelley for changing my life for the better in 1976."

British broadcaster and journalist Danny Baker, an early punk champion, highlighted Shelley's songwriting abilities.

"A great man," he wrote in Twitter. "He tried to write pure punk, he really did, but out came perfect pop.

"Recall dim punks saying Buzzcocks were 'too good sounding' which was meant to be a bad thing. They were so, so good. A brilliant talent, a brilliant noise. Forever."

Shelley was born in Leigh in north west England in 1955 and formed the band after meeting fellow singer Howard Devoto at college in 1975.