Fans were recently left rocked by the news that Keith Emerson has passed away yesterday at the age of 71; however, the news has taken a turn for the worse with confirmation by police that his death is being investigated as a potential suicide.
Emerson was reported dead yesterday on March 11, following his body being found in his Santa Monica home. Shortly following that news arose, police confirmed to BBC News that the death was, in fact, caused by a single gunshot wound to the head, which they believe to have happened as a result of suicide. That news is sure to be tragic news, more to his girlfriend Mari Kawaguchi than anyone else, who found the body in the early hours of Friday.
Keith died at home last night.
— Mari Kawaguchi (@Mari_Kawaguchi) March 12, 2016
When the news of his death was still fresh, a statement was made by Keith Emerson’s band, Lake & Palmer to their official Facebook page. At that time, the band broke the news of the death of their friend and at the same time asked that the family’s privacy and grief was respected. However, it wasn’t yet known at that time the cause of death was suicide.
Keith Emerson is of course best known for founding the progressive rock super group, alongside Carl Palmer and Greg Lake. The band started life in London and spread across the UK before becoming popular internationally. They releases seven albums, all of which reached gold status in the United States. That was all before the band made the decision to dissolve in 1979, before coming back for a ’90s reunion and a North American tour in 2010.
Despite disagreements in the past, members of the band were believed to still be close, which was echoed by Carl Palmer’s comments following the passing of his friend. Plamer wrote on Facebook.
“I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of my good friend and brother-in-music, Keith Emerson. 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 humour, 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.”
The news around Keith Emerson’s death at the age of 71 is sure to be incredibly saddening for fans of his music. However, the news that the death is likely to have been caused by suicide, according to police reports is sure to make that news even more difficult to digest. Emerson was arguably one of the most celebrated rock stars of his time and during a time when everybody was striving to be different, provided a refreshingly simplistic take on the genre and that’s something his fans certainly loved him for.
R.I.P Keith Emerson. One of the only people who could fuse rock and classical music with taste.
— WingerTheBand (@wingertheband) March 12, 2016
We’re sure that more details around why Keith Emerson decided to take his own life will come out in the near future. For now though, his passing provides tragic news for his friends, family, and the music industry as a whole. Emerson was certainly a figure that left a mark on the industry he helped to shape in its early days.
Tributes from across the music industry continue to pour in for Keith Emerson who has died at his home in Santa Monica, California at the age of 71.
[Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty images]