Australian musician Nick Cave's teenage son, Arthur, has died in a cliff fall

Nick Cave with his sons in 2012. Photo: Tim Whitby/Getty Images

Musician Nick Cave has lost his 15-year-old son, Arthur, who died after falling from a cliff near the family home in Brighton, on England’s south coast.

Cave and his wife Susie released a statement saying “Our son Arthur died on Tuesday evening. He was our beautiful, happy loving boy. We ask that we be given the privacy our family needs to grieve at this difficult time.”

The death is not being treated as suspicious. Sussex police said he was found at the base of an 18-metre cliff at Ovingdean Gap late on Tuesday afternoon by passers-by, unconscious and suffering from life-threatening injuries. He was taken to hospital by air ambulance, but died there.

Arthur was a twin and his brother Earl left flowers and a note at the top of the cliff saying “Arthur – I love you so much. You were a joy to be around and I will never forget you. You were the best brother I could ever ask for. Earl.”

Victorian-born Cave, 57, is a musician, author and actor who formed the proto-punk band The Boys Next Door in Melbourne in the early 70s. It morphed into The Birthday Party, a confrontational and provocative band in which Cave first began evoking Old Testament imagery and led to his nickname as the Prince of Darkness.

After breaking up in 1983, he formed Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, having left Australia in 1980.

He’s had four sons, including Luke, 24, with his former wife Brazilian journalist Viviane Carneiro, and another, Jethro, 10 days earlier with Melbourne model Beau Lazenby, who didn’t meet his father until several years after his birth.

He met British model Susie Bick in 1997 and they married two years later, having the twins in 2000.

He is godfather to the late Michael Hutchence’s daughter Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily.

A documentary film about his life, 20,000 Days on Earth, was released last year and includes footage of Cave with his son Arthur.

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