JON Lord, keyboardist and co-founder of British rock group Deep Purple, has died in a London hospital aged 71, his official website said on Monday.
"It is with deep sadness we announce the passing of Jon Lord, who suffered a fatal pulmonary embolism today, Monday 16 July at the London Clinic, after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Jon was surrounded by his loving family," a message on the website said.
Lord co-wrote many of Deep Purple's legendary songs including Smoke On The Water, and went on to play with many other bands and musicians during his career, including rock bands Whitesnake and Paice, Ashton and Lord.
He pioneered the fusing of rock and orchestral music, with his Concerto for Group and Orchestra being first performed by Deep Purple and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at London's Royal Albert Hall in 1969.
Lord was born in Leicester in the English midlands, where he took up classical piano from an early age.
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