Emerson, Lake & Palmer keyboardist Keith Emerson has died at the age of 71.

Drummer Carl Palmer released a statement that read:

“I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of my good friend and brother-in-music, Keith Emerson. 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 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.

Carl Palmer

March 11, 2016”

The band’s Facebook page states:

“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 keyboardist was born on November 2, 1944, and played with the Keith Emerson Trio, John Brown’s Bodies, The T-Bones, The V.I.P.’s and PP Arnold’s backing band The Nice, before co-founding supergroup ELP in 1970 with singer and guitarist Greg Lake and drummer and percussionist Carl Palmer.

They released the studio albums Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Tarkus, Trilogy, Brain Salad Surgery, Works Volume 1 and 2, and Love Beach between their formation and 1978, along with live record Pictures At An Exhibition.

They split in 1979, coming back together in 1991, releasing Black Moon in 1992 and In The Hot Seat in 1994.

Emerson also carved out a successful solo career and worked on a variety of film soundtracks.

He was due to tour Japan next month.

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5 Responses

  1. Sadly, another classic rocker has left us…this has been a string of bad news lately. RIP Keith, thoughts and prayers to his family and friends!

  2. Another legend gone, a pioneer of the progressive organ/synth sound of the early 70’s. Lucky Man, Karn Evil 9, From the Beginning (covered by Dokken in the 90’s) just a few of the brilliant classics he had a hand in creating. He’s probably up there dueling it out with Jon Lord!!

    R.I.P. Keith Emerson

  3. Keith Emerson and John Lord showed us that keyboards did not have to just be “complimentary” instruments mixed behind the guitars. Keith was a master musician and some of his chops were just mind blowing. They paved the way for current greats like Jens Johansson, who’s shredding was equal to, or above their guitar playing counterparts.

  4. In the last 20 years or so, I think keyboardists have become sadly overlooked. Some classic bands don’t even have their keyboard player onstage (looking at you, Van Halen).

    In the last several years, we’ve lost some true greats in Richard Wright, Jon Lord, and Ray Manzarek.

    Now, add Keith Emerson to the list.

    Interesting fact. Ritchie Blackmore’s Facebook page posted that Jimi Hendrix wanted to join ELP, and call it HELP (Hendrix, Emerson, Lake, and Palmer). At least Jimi can jam with Keith now.


  5. That is too bad. Hate for something like this to happen. Very talented guy.

    Light some candles, load up your bowl and put on “From the Beginning”. Great tune.

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