Update July 30 10am ET: TMZ reports that Howe's death has been ruled a suicide by police. Drugs and alcohol are not believed to be factors in his death, and no controlled substances or paraphernalia were found at the scene.

  • If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website. Resource information is provided for free as well as a chat message service. To speak directly to a professional, call 1-800-273-8255. You are not alone and help is available. Every life is important.

3PM ET: The band has also issued the following statement after retracting a previous post:

"Concerning our recently deleted post addressing the news that Mike’s passing was a suicide, we wanted to dispel any misconceptions that might have arisen from certain media reports. In our efforts to do that, our attempts at honesty created a narrative that fell outside our purest of intentions. We were in no way, shape or form referring to anything in relation to vaccinations, COVID or politics. We were saying our brother was hurting and while he was seeking medical care for it, the treatments he was utilizing did not protect him. Otherwise, he would still be with us today.

If you knew Mike Howe, then you knew he was a truly good human being who loved his friends, his family and his many fans around the world. He would always go the extra mile to make someone feel good and he would always give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. We ask that you remember Mike in that way and for the amazing metal music he created.

This is an extremely difficult time for everyone who knew Mike personally and those that knew him through the music. We are all still processing the loss of our brother. We apologize that the original statement was misunderstood or created an incorrect dialog. We ask that you please stop attacking each other in relation to Mike’s passing and Metal Church. We ask that you take that energy and use it to keep Mike’s memory alive by sharing the music he created while he was with us. We want Metal Church music to bring people together as it has over the years and not be divisive."

Metal Church singer Mike Howe has died at the age of 55.

The band broke the news of his death, which came yesterday (July 26) on social media and stated, "It is with our deepest regrets that we must announce the passing of our brother, our friend and true legend of heavy metal music. Mike Howe passed away this morning at his home in Eureka, California. We are devastated and at a loss for words. Please respect our privacy and the Howe family’s privacy during this most difficult time."

Howe was born on Aug. 21, 1965 in Taylor, Michigan and moved to Los Angeles as a young adult with his band Hellion, which was later renamed to Snair. Once out on the west coast, he recorded one album, 1988's Breaking Point, with power/thrash group Heretic before joining Metal Church that same year as the replacement for singer David Wayne.

The impact Howe made on the band was immediate, proving to be a more than worthy successor of the celebrated Wayne (who later died in 2005). Howe first fronted Metal Church from 1988 through 1995 and contributed to three albums: Blessing in Disguise (19889, The Human Factor (1991) and Hanging in the Balance (1993) and then retired from music and focused on raising a family while pursuing a career as a carpenter.

In 2015, however, after spending two decades removed from the music industry, the singer made his long-awaited return to Metal Church and sang on the 2016 record XI and its followup, Damned If You Do, which was released in 2018. The From the Vault collection, a 2020 release, featured four new studio tracks, B-sides and a handful of covers and will ostensibly serve as the singer's last contributions to the long-standing heavy metal band.

Loudwire extends our condolences to the Howe family, Metal Church and all who knew the singer. Rest in peace.

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