Shifty Shellshock, Crazy Town Frontman and ‘Butterfly’ Singer, Dies at 49

Shifty Shellshock, the frontman of rap rock band Crazy Town who sang the hit song “Butterfly,” has died. He was 49.

According to the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s website, Shellshock — whose birth name was Seth Binzer — died at his residence on Monday. A cause has not yet been disclosed.

Shellshock met his Crazy Town co-founder, Bret Mazur, in 1992. They first began making music under the name the Brimstone Sluggers, but by 1999, their moniker was changed to Crazy Town and the band had added members Rust Epique, James Bradley Jr. (aka JBJ), Doug Miller, Adam Goldstein (aka DJ AM), and Antonio Lorenzo “Trouble” Valli. Crazy Town’s debut album, “The Gift of Game,” released in November 1999, and the band supported the Red Hot Chili Peppers on tour shortly after.

In October 2000, Crazy Town released “Butterfly” as the third single from “The Gift of Game.” The song samples the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Pretty Little Ditty” and features Shellshock’s laid-back rapping style — “Come my lady, come-come my lady, You’re my butterfly, sugar baby” — seamlessly blending the two genres. The track reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for two non-consecutive weeks and became the band’s biggest hit.

After Crazy Town’s second album, “Darkhorse” (2002), failed to evoke the same fervor, the band broke up. Shellshock then pursued a solo career, collaborating with Paul Oakenfold on his 2002 hit “Starry Eyed Surprise,” which peaked at No. 41 on the charts. In 2004, Shellshock released his first solo album, “Happy Love Sick,” which found moderate success in Europe.

Shellshock had been open about his struggles with addiction and appeared on several reality shows regarding the matter, including two seasons of VH1’s “Celebrity Rehab” and two seasons of its follow-up show “Sober House.” In 2012, he was admitted to the hospital after losing consciousness and fell into a coma before recovering. He was most recently arrested for a DUI in 2022.

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

Wrapping Up

Shifty Shellshock’s contributions to the music world, particularly with Crazy Town, left an indelible mark. His struggles and triumphs were well-known to fans, who followed his journey through the highs and lows. As the music community mourns his passing, his legacy lives on through the iconic tracks and memories he created.

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