An English vocalist and lyricist, as well as occasional guitarist and keyboardist, of the band Joy Division, which he joined in 1976 after meeting with Bernard Sumner and Peter Hook at a Sex Pistols gig.
In 1976, Curtis met two young musicians, Bernard Sumner and Peter Hook, at a Sex Pistols gig, who told him they were trying to form a band; he immediately put himself forward as a vocalist and lyricist.
The three of them recruited, and sacked a number of drummers before settling on Stephen Morris as their final member. Initially, the band was called Warsaw before changing its name to Joy Division in 1978, due to conflicts with the name of another band, Warsaw Pakt. The name "Joy Division" stemmed from the sexual slavery wing of a Nazi concentration camp in the 1955 novel The House of Dolls, and was thought to have been pitched by Curtis.
While performing for Joy Division, Curtis became known for his quiet and awkward demeanour, as well as a unique dancing style.
There were several incidents where he collapsed and had to be helped off stage.
Curtis's writing was filled with imagery of emotional isolation, death, alienation, and urban decay.
Joy Division had its sparse recording style developed by producer Martin Hannett, with some of their most innovative work being created in Strawberry Studios in Stockport (owned by Manchester act 10cc) and Cargo Recording Studios Rochdale in 1979.
Although predominantly a vocalist, Curtis also played guitar on a handful of tracks (usually when Sumner was playing synthesizer; "Incubation" was a rare case where both played guitar).
Curtis's last live performance was on 2 May 1980 at Birmingham University, a show that included Joy Division's first and only performance of the song "Ceremony", later recorded by New Order and released as their first single. The last song Curtis performed on stage was "Digital". The recording of this performance can be found on the compilation album Still.
In the early hours of 18 May 1980, Curtis hanged himself in the kitchen of his house in Macclesfield.
The remaining members of Joy Division formed the immensely successful New Order following Curtis's death.
All added information in-depth may be obtained at the web address above.