Shelley reportedly died following a heart attack at his home in Estonia.
Buzzcocks were best known for their 1978 hit Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve).
Norman Blake, frontman of Teenage Fanclub, paid tribute to the enduring musical legacy of Shelley, saying: “I love(d) Buzzcocks. (Shelley’s) songs were important to me when I was a young man and they still are to me now. Thank you Pete and R.I.P. You will be missed.”
Tim Burgess, lead singer of The Charlatans, said Shelley would be remembered “for a long, long time” for his “brilliant” work.
He tweeted: “Pete Shelley wrote perfect three minute pop songs. The soundtrack to being a teenager. You’ll be missed Pete but you’ll be remembered for a long long time for your brilliant music.”
Tracey Thorn, formerly one half of dance music duo Everything But The Girl, also paid her respects, quoting from Buzzcocks track 16 Again.
She tweeted: “Oh God but I loved Buzzcocks. And Pete Shelley was an amazing songwriter. ‘But after all life’s only death’s recompense.’”
Author Neil Gaiman said that part of his youth had died along with Shelley.
In a statement released via Twitter, the Bolton group’s management confirmed Shelley’s death.
It read: “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.
“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 was born in Leigh and formed Buzzcocks in Bolton in 1975 with Howard Devoto.