Singer died at his home in Eureka, California
The band confirmed the news in a Facebook post revealing that the singer “passed away this morning (27 July) at his home in Eureka, California”.
“It is with our deepest regrets that we must announce the passing of our brother, our friend and [a] true legend of heavy metal music,” they wrote.
The statement continued: “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 began his career as a singer for the Detroit band called Hellion, before later joining another band Heretic, which was formed in 1986.
Heretic paid a tribute to the late singer by posting a poster of him on Facebook. They wrote: “Saddened to hear of the passing of former HereticMetal vocalist Mike Howe. R.I.P.”
Heretic released its album Breaking Point in 1988, after which Howe left to join Metal Church, replacing David Wayne, where he sang until 1996.
The band focused on lyrics that tackled political and social issues, with albums including Blessing in Disguise and The Human Factor.
The singer recorded three albums with the band before they split up for the first time.
However, over two decades later, the band reunited and released two further studio albums, titled XI (2016) and Damned If You Do (2018).
Tod La Torre, who was the vocalist for the heavy metal act Queensrÿche, also paid tribute to the singer. He wrote: “RIP my sweet friend. I have no words for this loss. Love and respect to you always.”