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Keith Emerson dies, aged 71

Legendary keyboard player passes away in California.

Emerson had an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, and authorities are investigating his death as a possible suicide. Police were called to his condominium in Santa Monica, California, at about 1:30 a.m. on Friday by his longtime partner Mari Kawaguchi, who told police that Emerson could have died anywhere between Thursday evening and Friday morning.

According to news site TMZ, Emerson had been suffering from a degenerative nerve condition, leaving him able to play with just 8 fingers, which had caused him to suffer from depression.

In a statement posted by his publicist on Facebook, his fellow band member Carl Palmer pays tribute to his 'brother-in-music'.

"He was a pioneer and an innovator whose musical genius touched all of us in the worlds of rock, classical and jazz" said Palmer summing up the breadth of Emerson's work, before signing off the note, "I am very lucky to have known him and to have made the music we did, together. Rest in peace, Keith."

Read the full statement below:

 

RIP KEITH EMERSON- It is with profound sadness I have to report the death of Keith Emerson last night in Santa Monica,...

Posted by Bruce Pilato on Friday, 11 March 2016

 

Planet rock will be paying tribute to Keith Emerson with a special edition of Planet Rock Plays It In Full on Monday 14th March, playing Emerson, Lake & Palmer - Trilogy in its entirety.

Keith Emerson first came to fame as a member of the Nice, who turned Leonard Bernstein’s “America” into a protest song. By 1970, he joined Carl Palmer and Greg Lake in forming one of progressive rock’s best-known bands, and one of the first supergroups.

He was well known for his showmanship, using knives to hold down keys on his vast bank of synthesisers. He was a pioneer of the Moog, which became a signature sound for ELP - at one time owning 'The Monster Moog', which weighed in at 550lbs and was 10ft tall.

He last performed with ELP in 2010 at the High Voltage Festival in London, but was still widely active as a solo artist.

Tributes have been paid from across the world of music, including from Moog - with whom he was synonomous:
 


Former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy called Emerson 'the Jimi Hendrix of keyboards':


Paul Stanley of Kiss, said Emerson was 'swagger & daggers':
 

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