The progressive rock band Emerson, Lake & Palmer confirmed Friday of the passing of it’s keyboardist and founding member, Keith Emerson.
Emerson died Thursday in Santa Monica in his home. Police sources say that Emerson’s girlfriend found him dead from a single gunshot wound to the head though the cause of death has not been confirmed. The death is being investigated as a suicide.
Emerson had recently been suffering from depression and a degenerative nerve disease that hampered his keyboard playing abilities.
Emerson was born in 1944 in the Yorkshire village of Todmorden. He was a keyboardist for many groups in the 1960’s. He was best known as a founding member of Emerson, Lake & Palmer, a so-called ‘super group’ of well-known rock musicians formed in 1970.
In addition to Emerson, the band included bassist Greg Lake, formerly of King Crimson, and drummer and percussionist Carl Palmer, a veteran of several famous English bands.
‘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,’ said former bandmate Carl Palmer on his website.
Emerson, Lake & Palmer released nine studio albums during the 1970’s, including its debut self-titled album and its follow-up ‘Tarkus,’ released in 1971. Tarkus reached the top spot on the Billboard 200 chart.