Jon Lord, ‘Deep Purple’ Keyboardist, Dies at 71 (VIDEO)

Jon Lord, keyboardist for Deep Purple and a pioneer for British hard rock passed away on Monday at the age of 71.

Lord suffered a pulmonary embolism after a long battle with pancreatic cancer, reports his manager Bruce Payne.

The English-born musician “passed from Darkness to Light” according to a statement.

Many fans and friends, such as Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello and Toto’s Steve Lukather have tweeted their sadness over his passing, and praised his musical contributions.

Lord co-wrote many of Deep Purple‘s 1960s and early 70s hit songs including Smoke on the Water, Hush, and Child in Time. He was instrumental to Deep Purple‘s signature sound–a Hammond B-3 organ with a distorted twang. “You tap straight in and put it through a straight speaker,” Lord had said, “and you get a beast.”

Deep Purple became a band in 1968 and disbanded in 1976, selling more than 100 million albums. In the late 70s and 80s, Lord played with hard rock group Whitesnake before reuniting with Deep Purple in 1984. He continued to have a successful career as a solo artist.

Lord is survived by his wife Vicky, and their two daughters, Amy Cherrington and Sara Lord.

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