It is with deep sadness we announce the passing of Jon Lord, who suffered a fatal pulmonary embolism yesterday, Monday 16th July at the London Clinic, after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Jon was surrounded by his loving family.
A statement posted on his website yesterday declared that Lord - who had said that writing music had been therapy through his illness - had passed 'from Darkness to Light'.
Along with Ritchie Blackmore, he co-founded Deep Purple in 1968 and co-wrote many of the group's songs including Smoke On The Water. He also played with bands including Whitesnake, The Kinks and played alongside George Harrison and David Gilmour.
Lord was influenced by classical, blues and jazz but played his Hammond organ with a blazing rock attitude and it was his unique style that helped Deep Purple become known as pioneers of progressive and heavy rock.
Tributes have been paid by musicians around the world including one-time Deep Purple bandmate Joe Satriani, Iron Maiden and Anthrax.
Ex-Rage Against the Machine star Tom Morello wrote on Twitter: "RIP the great Jon Lord, Deep Purple's cornerstone/keyboardist. So many great great songs and that incredible SOUND of his! Thankyou."
Former Yes keyboard player Rick Wakeman was a friend and said he was "a great fan".
"We were going to write and record an album before he become ill," he said. "His contribution to music and to classic rock was immeasurable and I will miss him terribly."
Jon's solo work was universally acclaimed when he eventually retired from Deep Purple in 2002.
Our thoughts are with the Lord family at this time.
R.I.P. Jon Lord. 1941-2012