Jon Lord, who played keyboard in the most commercially successful lineup of Deep Purple, passed away. The musician "suffered a fatal pulmonary embolism today, Monday 16th July at the London Clinic, after a long battle with pancreatic cancer."
Lord's former band announced his passing on their official website "with deep sadness." He's remembered as "the legendary keyboard player with Deep Purple co-wrote many of the bands legendary songs including 'Smoke on the Water'."
Lord "passes from Darkness to Light" at 71 surrounded by loving family. He is survived by his wife Vicky and two daughters, Amy Cherrington and Sara Lord. Sara is his daughter from his first marriage to Judith Feldman.
Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello tweeted, "RIP the great Jon Lord, Deep Purple's cornerstone/keyboardist. So many great great songs and that incredible SOUND of his!" Toto's Steve Lukather wrote, "My heartfelt RIP to Jon Lord.. A massive influence of all musicians of my generation and beyond."
Former Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman, meanwhile, opened up about a project he was supposed to work with Lord. "We were going to write and record an album before he become ill," he said. "His contribution to music and to classic rock was immeasurable and I will miss him terribly."
After leaving Deep Purple in 2002, Lord continued his work in classical music. He was well known for his work in Concerto for Group & Orchestra which was first performed in 1969 at Royal Albert Hall with Deep Purple and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. He was forced to cancel his performance in Germany earlier this month due to health issue.