Rod Temperton has died aged 66

Michael Jackson's songwriter Rod Temperton has died aged 66 years old after enduring an "aggressive battle" with cancer

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Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson's songwriter Rod Temperton has died aged 66 years old.

The creative mastermind behind the late musician's 1982 hit 'Thriller' passed away "last week" after enduring an "aggressive battle" with cancer, although the news was announced on Wednesday (05.10.16), and it has been reported his funeral was a "private" affair, according to The Mirror Online.

The Chairman and CEO of Warner/Chappell, Jon Platt, announced the news in a statement. He said: "Rod Temperton, British Composer and Musician, died last week at the age of 66 in London following a brief aggressive battle with cancer.

"His funeral was private. He was often referred to as The Invisible Man."

Temperton had penned a number of tracks for the former Jackson Five band member including 'Off The Wall', and 'Rock With You', as well as many others.

According to Platt, Temperton's family have requested "total privacy" surrounding the matter during this tragic time.

He added: "His family is devastated and request total privacy at this, the saddest of sad times."

Temperton launched his career when he joined the R 'n' B group Heatwave as their keyboard player and songwriter, alongside Johnnie Wilder, Keith Wilder, Mario Mantese, Ernest Berger, Eric Johns and Roy Carter.

However, prior to boasting a successful career in the music industry, which saw him work with 'Heartbreaker' hitmaker Mariah Carey and Karen Carpenter, Temperton worked in a frozen fish factory in Grimsby, England.

And a number of tributes to Temperton have flooded in via social media.

Guitarist Nile Rodgers has credited the star for making the world "funkier" with his records,

He tweeted: "Your genius gave us a funkier world! (sic)."

And Boy George has also praised Temperton for his contribution to the industry.

He said: "Sad to hear about the passing of Rod Temperton, a great British songwriter who gave us so much great music. R.I.P (sic)."

Whilst The Weeknd - whose real name is Abél Tesfaye - has also paid his respects to the "legend".

He wrote: "R.I.P to the legend Rod Temperton Abél Makkonen Tesfaye (sic)."

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