Deep Purple's Jon Lord Dies at 71
Jon Lord, the former keyboard player with heavy rock band Deep Purple, has died aged 71 after losing his battle with pancreatic cancer.
Lord suffered a fatal pulmonary embolism, or a blockage of the lung artery, according to a statement posted on his website.
He died at the London Clinic on Monday, surrounded by family, a statement said. "Jon passes from Darkness to Light," it added.
The former Deep Purple keyboardist officially announced that he is fighting cancer in August last year.
In a statement on his website, the musician informed friends and fans that he will quit concerts while in treatment.
"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.", Lord wrote.
Lord co-founded Deep Purple in 1968 and co-wrote many of the group's songs including Smoke On The Water.
Lord was influenced by classical, blues and jazz but played his Hammond organ with a rock attitude and helped Deep Purple become pioneers of progressive and heavy rock.
Apart from Deep Purple, Lord has also been part of Whitesnake, Paice, Ashton&Lord, The Artwoods and Flower Pot Men.
After leaving Deep Purple in 2002, he started composing classical music and entered into collaboration with with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
Lord has visited Bulgaria twice over the past few years, staging a concert in Plovdiv in 2009 and one in Sofia in end-2010.
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