Singer John Walker has died after a short battle with liver cancer. He was 67. The star, one of the founders of 1960s group The Walker Brothers, passed away at his Los Angeles home on Saturday, May 7. A statement on Walker's website reads, "He was a beloved husband, brother, father, grandfather, friend, and artiste."
Walker, born John Maus, learned the saxophone, clarinet and guitar as a child and formed the duo John and Judy - with his sister Judith - when he was just 14. In the 1960s, he teamed up with fellow musicians Scott Engel and Gary Leeds to become The Walker Brothers.
They achieved chart success with hits such as "Make It Easy on Yourself" and "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine (Any More)", and became particularly popular in the U.K.. They split in 1968 due to reported tensions within the band, but reunited six years later (1974) and continued to make music before parting ways again in the late 1970s.
Walker went on to release four solo albums in the 2000s and toured the U.K. in 2009. He also teamed up with Leeds to write a joint autobiography, "The Walker Brothers: No Regrets - Our Story", the same year.
Paying tribute to his pal, Leeds says, "It's a very sad day for John's family, myself and all of our many fans. John was the founder member of the group and lead singer in the early days. He was also a fantastic guitarist which a lot of people didn't realize."
"He was a compassionate songwriter and a gentleman with lots of style. The three of us had the most incredible adventure together, all the time not realizing that we were part of pop history in the making. His music will live on, and therefore so will John."