Pat Torpey, founding member and drummer of Mr Big, has passed away aged 64 from complications due to Parkinson's disease.
When we spoke to Torpey about his battle with the disease in 2015, he said of the reaction to his diagnosis from fans and bandmates, "It’s been amazing, and it’s only built on that since. It’s what I didn’t think would happen.”
His Mr. Big bandmates paid warm tributes. "Pat Torpey has been my closest friend in music for over 30 years," said bassist Billy Sheehan. "He passed away yesterday from complications as a result of Parkinson's disease."
"Pat was one of the finest human beings I've ever had the privilege of knowing, and the honor of working with. All of us in Mr. Big had nothing but the highest respect and admiration for him.
"He is loved by anyone and everyone who ever met him. And surely one of the finest rock drummers the world has ever known.
"Please keep his sweet wife and wonderful son in your prayers."
"I love you, Pat. You made the world a better place. We will miss you. We will never forget you. Rest in peace, my brother."
Former Mr. Big guitarist Richie Kotzen stated: "So saddened to learn of the passing of my friend and former bandmate Pat Torpey. We spent years touring the world, making music, family holiday gatherings, and even remodeled a house together. Pat's sense of humor, wit, and smile lit up any room the moment he walked in.
"I am grateful and thankful to have had you as an incredibly important friend and influence in my life. You will be missed beyond words. With love and tears... Rest in peace, my friend."
Mr. Big released Defying Gravity, their ninth studio album, last year.