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Progressive rock star Keith Emerson dies aged 71

Published 11/03/2016

Greg Lake, Keith Emerson and Carl Palmer (left to right) in 1972
Greg Lake, Keith Emerson and Carl Palmer (left to right) in 1972

Keith Emerson, one of the founding members of progressive rock group Emerson, Lake and Palmer, has died.

The keyboardist died at the age of 71 at his home in California on Thursday night, the band confirmed.

Bandmate Carl Palmer said he is "deeply saddened" and paid tribute to his "brother-in-music".

"Keith was a gentle soul whose love for music and passion for his performance as a keyboard player will remain unmatched for many years to come," he said in a statement online.

"He was a pioneer and an innovator whose musical genius touched all of us in the worlds of rock, classical and jazz.

"I will always remember his warm smile, good sense of humor, compelling showmanship, and dedication to his musical craft.

"I am very lucky to have known him and to have made the music we did together.

"Rest in peace Keith."

A statement on the official Emerson, Lake and Palmer Facebook page said: "We regret to announce that Keith Emerson died last night at his home in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, aged 71.

"We ask that the family's privacy and grief be respected."

The group, consisting of keyboardist Emerson, producer Greg Lake, and drummer Palmer, formed in London in the 1970s and released seven albums together.

They parted ways in 1979 before reforming in 1991 and releasing two more albums.

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From Belfast Telegraph