Rick Wakeman leads tributes to Emerson, Lake and Palmer star Greg Lake

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 8 December 2016
Greg Lake

Greg Lake

Tributes have flooded in for Emerson, Lake and Palmer legend Greg Lake, who has died at the age of 69 following a battle with cancer

Rick Wakeman has led tributes to Emerson, Lake and Palmer star Greg Lake.

The 69-year-old singer-and-guitarist passed away on Wednesday (12.07.16) after losing a "long and stubborn battle with cancer", and the Yes keyboardist was one of the first people to react to the news of the prog rock musician's tragic death, and said he will "live on" through his music.

Taking to Twitter, he wrote: "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. (sic)"

Yes' official Twitter page also added: "Very sad to hear of the passing of our friend legendary Greg Lake Our thoughts & condolences are with Regina & Natasha & all the family - YES (sic)"

Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett hailed Lake a "great musician and singer".

He wrote on the micro-blogging site: "Music bows its head to acknowledge the passing of a great musician and singer, Greg Lake. (sic)"

Prior to being in ELP, Lake was frontman for King Crimson - who formed in 1968 and are considered a pioneering act in the prog genre before they imploded in 1970 - and his former band mate, John Wetton, has hailed his late pal a "musical giant" in the progressive rock genre.

He wrote: "And now, I'm so sad to hear of the passing of a musical giant in my genre. Yesterday, my dear friend Greg Lake died from cancer. RIP. (sic)"

And BBC Radio 2's Jeremy Vine quoted Lake referring to his Christmas hit 'I Believe in Father Christmas', which he released as a solo artist.

Vine wrote on his page: "Brilliant #GregLake - "you can't retire on a Christmas Number One (sic)"

Although it has become a festive classic was originally penned by Lake as a protest against the commercialisation of the holiday season.

A post on the prog rock band's official Facebook account made by ELP's long-time manager Stewart Young confirmed the sad news, reading: "Yesterday, December 7th, I lost my best friend to a long and stubborn battle with cancer. Greg Lake will stay in my heart forever, as he has always been. His family would be grateful for privacy during this time of their grief. Many thanks, Stewart Young (sic)"

Greg formed ELP with drummer Carl Palmer and keyboardist Keith Emerson in 1970 and the group went on to become one of the biggest prog acts of the decade with their fusion of jazz, rock and classical musical with albums such as 'Tarkus', 'Trilogy' and 'Brain Salad Surgery' being global hits.

Lake's death comes just nine months after Emerson died in Santa Monica, California, from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. He was 71 at the time of his suicide.

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