Tributes to Leicester rock legend and founder of Deep Purple, Jon Lord
Leicester rock legend Jon Lord has died aged 71.
The musician, who was born in Humberstone, broke the news of his battle with cancer to his fans last August.
The keyboard player, behind Deep Purple's classic song Smoke on the Water, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and was showered with messages of support from friends and well-wishers.
Yesterday, his website said he had suffered a fatal blockage of an artery and died in London with his family at his side.
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It said: "It is with deep sadness we announce the passing of Jon Lord who suffered a fatal pulmonary embolism today at the London Clinic after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.
"Jon was surrounded by his loving family. Jon passes from Darkness to Light."
Former Showaddywaddy frontman Dave Bartram yesterday paid tribute to the Hammond organ player.
He said: "I knew Jon from the early days. We owe him a debt of gratitude – he gave us a lot of support when Showaddywaddy were starting out.
"He was a fantastic musician and a workaholic and Leicester can be proud to call him one of their own. He'll be sadly missed."
Fellow Leicestershire star Engelbert Humperdinck said: "A huge talent that will be sadly missed. My condolences go out to his entire family."
Tributes have also been paid on Twitter by musicians, including Deep Purple bandmate Joe Satriani, while ex-Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello wrote: "RIP the great Jon Lord, Deep Purple's cornerstone."
Actor Ewan McGregor also honoured the music legend.
He tweeted: "Jon played with my great friend Tony Ashton. They'll be jamming upstairs now!"
Jon was born and raised on Averil Road, in Humberstone and attended Humberstone Junior School.
Aged 11, he moved to Wyggeston Boys' Grammar School.
His first job was in a solicitor's office, in Welford Place, aged 17.
In 1968, he formed Deep Purple. He has written hundreds of songs in his prolific career, including co-writing the instantly-recognisable Smoke on the Water.
Jon returned to Leicester last year to collect a honorary degree from the University of Leicester.