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Andy Rourke, The Smiths Bass Player, Dead at 59 from Pancreatic Cancer: 'A Kind and Beautiful Soul'

Rourke's former bandmate, guitarist Johnny Marr, announced the news of his death in a statement on Twitter Friday

Walter McBride/Getty Images
Walter McBride/Getty Images

Andy Rourke, the bass player from The Smiths, has died. He was 59.

Rourke's former bandmate, guitarist Johnny Marr, announced he died from pancreatic cancer in a statement shared on his Twitter page Friday.

"It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Andy Rourke after a lengthy illness with pancreatic cancer," Marr, 59, wrote. "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."

The English musician joined The Smiths in 1982, led by Morrissey, until they disbanded in 1987, just before the release of their fourth album. The Manchester-based group also included drummer Mike Joyce, who similarly tweeted about his late friend.

"Not only the most talented bass player I've ever had the privilege to play with but the sweetest, funniest lad I've ever met," Joyce, 59, wrote in his own tribute. "Andy's left the building, but his musical legacy is perpetual. I miss you so much already. Forever in my heart mate.

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After The Smiths broke up, Rourke continued to play for Morrissey, 63, throughout his solo projects, and later went on to form a supergroup with fellow bass guitarists Peter Hook from New Order and the Stone Roses' Mani, per The Guardian.

He also recorded with the Pretenders, Sinéaed O'Connor and Ian Brown, and was in the band DARK with Dolores O'Riordan, the late singer of the Cranberries.

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After Marr announced Rourke's death, various others sent messages to his family and former bandmates online as well.

"Deepest condolences," one fan wrote. "Massive fan of the bands work. Huge part of my teenage years. May his memory be a blessing to you and all who loved him."

Added singer Fran Healy, "Andy was such a lovely gentle soul. X."

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