Andy Rourke, the bassist for indie legends The Smiths, has died aged 59.
The death was announced by fellow band member Johnny Marr.
He said: “It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Andy Rourke after a lengthy illness with pancreatic cancer.
“Andy will be remembered as a kind and beautiful soul by those who knew him and as a supremely gifted musician by music fans.
“We request privacy at this sad time.”
Image: Former members of The Smiths, Andy Rourke (R) and Johnny Marr, on stage during the Manchester Versus Cancer charity concert Rourke played in The Smiths, the alternative indie band from the 1980s fronted by Morrissey, who had hits such as This Charming Man and Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now.
He also played with artists such as The Pretenders, Sinead O’Connor and Badly Drawn Boy.
The Smiths split in 1987, after Marr believed an NME article headlined “Smiths to split” was real and planted by Morrissey.
It led to a royalties dispute that took Marr and Rourke to court in 1989.
Writing again on Instagram, Marr added:
“Andy and I met as schoolboys in 1975. We were best friends, going everywhere together. When we were fifteen I moved into his house with him and his three brothers and I soon came to realise that my mate was one of those rare people that absolutely no one doesn’t like.
“Andy and I spent all our time studying music, having fun, and working on becoming the best musicians we could possibly be. Back then Andy was a guitar player and a good one at that, but it was when he picked up the bass that he would find his true calling and his singular talent would flourish.”