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Jon Lord 1941-2012

Jon Lord, photographed in Phoenix, Arizona, 1976
Jon Lord, photographed in Phoenix, Arizona, 1976 (Image credit: Neil Preston/Corbis)

We're sad to report the death of Jon Lord, keyboard player and co-founder of metal pioneers Deep Purple, who suffered a pulmonary embolism and had been battling pancreatic cancer.

An official statement reads: "It is with deep sadness we announce the passing of Jon Lord, who suffered a fatal pulmonary embolism today, Monday 16th July at the London Clinic, after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Jon was surrounded by his loving family.

"Jon Lord, the legendary keyboard player with Deep Purple co-wrote many of the bands legendary songs including Smoke On The Water and played with many bands and musicians throughout his career.

"Best known for his Orchestral work Concerto for Group & Orchestra first performed at Royal Albert Hall with Deep Purple and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in 1969 and conducted by the renowned Malcolm Arnold, a feat repeated in 1999 when it was again performed at the Royal Albert Hall by the London Symphony Orchestra and Deep Purple.

"Jon's solo work was universally acclaimed when he eventually retired from Deep Purple in 2002.

"Jon passes from Darkness to Light.

Jon Lord 9 June 1941 - 16 July 2012."