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On March 11, 2016 a post appeared on the Facebook time line of Keith Emerson, "We regret to announce that Keith Emerson died last night at his home in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, aged 71. We ask that the family’s privacy and grief be respected." Several hours after the initial reports the BBC was among the first to announce that Santa Monica police told them that Emerson "died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head." The BBC said the incident is currently being "investigated as a suicide."
Several days later, a coroner's report was released by the County of Los Angeles describing the manner of death a suicide by gunshot to the head. The report said Emerson had arteriosclerotic cardio vascular disease and suffered from depression and alcoholism.
Emerson was a gifted musician who introduced classical and jazz music to millions of rock fans with his progressive fusion style using pianos, organs and Moog synthesizers. He was also an inspiration to many progressive musicians and the news of his death stunned those who have worked with him over the several past decades. Tributes to the late rocker were found all over the World Wide Web:
Former Emerson, Lake and Palmer (ELP) band mate Carl Palmer wrote on his website: "I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of my good friend and brother-in-music, Keith Emerson.
Yes/Asia keyboardist Geoff Downes wrote, "Devastated to hear of the death of the greatest rock keyboardist ever, my dear friend Keith Emerson. A true genius and inspiration."
Former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett tweeted, "I'm terribly sad to hear about the death of Keith Emerson. A genius of the keys and a lovely guy."
John Wetton, of Uriah Heep and Asia, posted onTwitter, "So terribly sad to hear of Keith Emerson's passing. We were good friends for many years, and he was a gent, a genius---one of a kind. RIP"
Keyboard rival and former member of the prog band Yes, Rick Wakeman sent out this Twitter post: "no whimsical tweets today. It's heartbreaking to lose so many musician friends this year and now Keith Emerson . Rest peacefully my friend."
Over the past several years there has been talk of a battle of the keyboards pitting Emerson against Wakeman, but the event never came to fruition. One of the many Yes fan pages on Facebook mentioned that there was talk of Emerson joining next summer's Cruise to the Edge, a progressive rock festival on a cruise ship to the Bahamas.
This video was found on YouTube:
Posted 03/12/16 Updated 03/21/16
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