Keith Emerson dead: Prog-rock legend dies at age 71 |


Prog-rock legend Keith Emerson dies at age 71

(Michael Putland/Getty Images)

UPDATE: Keith Emerson died of a single gunshot wound to the head, the Santa Monica Police confirmed to EW. His death is being investigated as a suicide.

EARLIER: Keyboard-player and prog-rock legend Keith Emerson has died at the age of 71. The British musician played with The Nice in the late ’60s and then formed Emerson, Lake & Palmer with singer Greg Lake and drummer Carl Palmer. In the ’70s, the trio helped define the progressive-rock genre with a string of albums, including 1971’s Pictures at an Exhibition, which reached No. 10 on the Billboard album chart.

Emerson also composed and performed the soundtracks for a number of films, most notably director Dario Argento’s 1980 horror movie, Inferno. According to the official Emerson, Lake & Palmer Facebook page, Emerson died Thursday night at his home in Santa Monica, California.

“I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of my good friend and brother-in-music, Keith Emerson,” Carl Palmer said in a statement. “Keith was a gentle soul whose love for music and passion for his performance as a keyboard player will remain unmatched for many years to come. He was a pioneer and an innovator whose musical genius touched all of us in the worlds of rock, classical and jazz. I will always remember his warm smile, good sense of humor, compelling showmanship, and dedication to his musical craft. I am very lucky to have known him and to have made the music we did, together. Rest in peace, Keith.”

You can see Keith Emerson playing with Emerson, Lake & Palmer in the clips, below.