Deep Purple founder and keyboardist Jon Lord has passed away at the age of 71 after losing his battle with pancreatic cancer.
"It is with deep sadness we announce the passing of Jon Lord, who suffered a fatal pulmonary embolism today, Monday, July 16th at the London Clinic, after a long battle with pancreatic cancer," read a message on Lord's official website. "Jon was surrounded by his loving family."
Lord helped pen a number timeless songs like "Smoke on the Water" during his time with Deep Purple, and went on to an acclaimed solo career after the band split.
Most recently, Lord had been working on material with rock supergroup WhoCares, which featured Ian Gillan (Deep Purple), Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath, Mikko Lindström (HIM), Jason Newsted (Metallica) and Nicko McBrain (Iron Maiden).
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