Jon Lord, Keyboard and founder of Deep Purple, dies at age 71

British rocker Jon Lord, former keyboardist for the band Deep Purple, has died. He was 71 years old.

A statement on Lord’s official website says the Leicester, England-born musician suffered a fatal pulmonary embolism in London on Monday after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

Lord co-wrote some of Deep Purple’s most famous tunes, including “Smoke on the Water,” and later had a successful solo career following his retirement from the band in 2002.

Last year, Lord told fans he was “fighting cancer and will therefore be taking a break from performing while getting the treatment and cure”.

In a message on his website dated August 9th, 2011, he added: “I shall of course be continuing to write music – in my world it just has to be part of the therapy – and I fully expect to be back in good shape next year.”

The statement posted on Lord’s website said he died “surrounded by his loving family.”

Rest in Peace

Deep Purple – Jon Lord Solo (Space Truckin) Live 72

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