Keith Emerson of Emerson, Lake & Palmer dead at 71

keithemersonKeith Emerson, keyboardist and founding member of Emerson, Lake & Palmer, passed away Thursday night, the band announced via their Facebook page on Friday.

Per Rolling Stone and TMZ, Emerson died of a gunshot wound to the head. He was 71 years old.

“We regret to announce that Keith Emerson died last night at his home in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, aged 71,” read a post on the band’s Facebook page. “We ask that the family’s privacy and grief be respected.”

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[UPDATE 1: See Greg Lake’s thoughts on Emerson’s suicide here.

UPDATE 2: Emerson’s girlfriend believes she knows why the artist committed suicide]

Regarded by some as the top keyboardist in rock history, Emerson, along with guitarist Greg Lake and drummer Carl Palmer, founded Emerson, Lake & Palmer in 1970. The band has been credited with increasing the audience of progressive rock and has been cited as influences for bands such as Dream Theater and Iron Maiden.

Palmer offered his thoughts on Emerson in a statement posted to his Facebook page.

“I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of my good friend and brother-in-music, KEITH EMERSON,” wrote Palmer. “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.”

[BREAKING NEWS: Greg Lake passes away at age 69]

Photo credit: By Surka (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

4 comments to “Keith Emerson of Emerson, Lake & Palmer dead at 71”
  1. More bad news from the world of rock and roll. First Bowie than Frey and Maurice White of EW&F. George Martin and Rush is retiring. Now this sad news. There has to be some kind of curse on rockers. Like Ringo once sang Back off Bugaloo.

  2. I’m a big prog rock fan. Emerson, Lake, and Palmer is a catalogue that I’ve neglected. I need to fix that. May he rest.

  3. Pingback: Greg Lake passes away at age 69 | Rocknuts

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