Jon Lord, the former keyboard player with heavy rock band Deep Purple, has died aged 71.
Lord was influenced by classical, blues and jazz but played his Hammond organ with a rock attitude and helped Deep Purple become pioneers of progressive and heavy rock. Tributes have been paid by musicians including one-time Deep Purple bandmate Joe Satriani, Iron Maiden and Anthrax.
Ex-Rage Against the Machine star Tom Morello wrote on Twitter: "RIP the great Jon Lord, Deep Purple's cornerstone/keyboardist. So many great great songs and that incredible SOUND of his! Thankyou." Former Yes keyboard player Rick Wakeman was a friend and said he was "a great fan".
Born in Leicester, Lord learned classical piano at an early age before being seduced by watching early rock 'n' roll star Jerry Lee Lewis and jazz organist Jimmy Smith. He could have chosen a career as an actor after receiving a drama school scholarship, but started playing in pub bands including short-lived outfits with future Rolling Stones star Ronnie Wood and his brother Art. He also worked as a session musician and played piano on The Kinks' hit You Really Got Me.
In their classic years, the band also included Blackmore, singer Ian Gillan, drummer Ian Paice and bassist Roger Glover. Lord continued to compose classical works alongside the group's output and, when they split in 1976, he joined other groups Whitesnake and Paice, Ashton and Lord.
"Thirty years later the piece came back and changed my life again... It gave me the courage to step outside and carve a career for myself outside the band," he told an interviewer. He broke the news of his cancer diagnosis on his website last year, telling fans he would continue to write music as part of his therapy.