Greg Lake (1947 - 2016)

Greg Lake, the English guitarist and singer-songwriter from the progressive rock group Emerson, Lake & Palmer, died Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016, of cancer, according to multiple news sources. He was 69.

Lake's official webpage also announced the death.

"Yesterday, December 7th, I lost my best friend to a long and stubborn battle with cancer," wrote Stewart Young, Lake's manager, on the musician's website. "Greg Lake will stay in my heart forever, as he has always been. His family would grateful for privacy during this time of their grief."

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Gregory Stuart Lake was born Nov. 10, 1947, in Dorset, England. Before joining with Keith Emerson and Carl Palmer, Lake was a member of King Crimson, which he formed with Robert Fripp. Their debut album, "In the Court of the Crimson King," which Lake co-produced, featured the celebrated song "21st Century Schizoid Man." King Crimson heavily influenced other famous bands including Genesis and Yes.

According to Lake's official website, Fripp met Lake through a shared guitar teacher "who taught an expansive range of music including classical pieces by Paganini" and postwar classics. Lake also was influenced by American rock 'n' roll, especially Elvis Presley.

"There is a common thread throughout all the music," Lake once said. "The forms may be different, but each one to some degree draws upon inspiration from the past. I am as proud to have been as influenced by people like Elvis and Little Richard as I am by composers like Copeland and Prokofiev and I'm honoured when other musicians regard me as one of their inspirations."

Lake wrote "Lucky Man," one of Emerson, Lake & Palmer's most famous songs, when he was 12 years old. The song featured one of the earliest Moog synthesizer solos in rock music.

Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman posted: “Another sad loss with the passing of Greg Lake … You left some great music with us my friend & so like Keith, you will live on.”

Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett paid tribute on Twitter, writing: "Music bows its head to acknowledge the passing of a great musician and singer, Greg Lake."

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