March 12, 2016


Keith Emerson, Keyboardist of Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Has Died

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Keith Emerson, keyboardist of Emerson, Lake and Palmer has died at the age of 71. 

According to TMZ, Emerson was found by police with a single gunshot wound to the head and the case is reportedly being investigated as a suicide.

The news was confirmed by a post on the band's Facebook page:

"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."

Additionally, bandmate Carl Palmer gave a statement of his own, sharing his grief of Emerson's passing.

"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 humor, 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."

Emerson, Lake and Palmer gained recognition in 1970 after the release of their self titled debut, developing a prog rock sound that could be described as scientific, operatic, or expansive, depending on the track. The band toured through the '70s releasing seven albums and going on multiple world tours before breaking up in 1979.

The group reformed in 1991 for another tour and record, and continued to perform together sporadically until a second breakup in 1999. 

At the 2010 High Voltage Festival in London, Emerson, Lake and Palmer played together in a one-off performance celebrating their 40th anniversary. 

Emerson performed his last show in 2015 alongside the BBC Concert Orchestra as part of Moogfest, a tribute to Robert Moog, the inventor of the Moog synthesizer.