Happy Mondays star Paul Ryder has died, aged 57.
The Manchester band’s bassist - and brother of his bandmate, fellow founder Shaun Ryder - was found dead just before they were due to take to the stage at the Kubix Festival in Sunderland.
The cause of death is currently unknown but his family are “deeply saddened and shocked” and grateful for any and all well wishes.
The band - which originally was made up of Paul, Shaun, Gary Whelan on drums, Paul Davis on keyboard and Mark ‘Bez’ Day on guitar - wrote on Facebook post: “The Ryder family and Happy Mondays band members are deeply saddened and shocked to say that Paul Ryder passed away this morning.
“A true pioneer and legend. He will be forever missed.
“We thank you for respecting the privacy of all concerned at this time.”
Dave Haslam, a journalist and former DJ at The Hacienda, the iconic Manunican venue, paid tribute to “top fella” Paul, who had previously struggled with heroin misuse.
He tweeted: “Really very sorry to hear of the death of Paul Ryder - he made a massive contribution to Happy Mondays and was good company and a top fella RIP #PaulRyder.”
Lee Rourke, the editor of 3:AM magazine tweeted: “RIP Paul Ryder. Absolutely gutted about this. What a talented musician and legend.”
The band Fat Cops added: “RIP Paul Ryder, who was a good friend to us when we toured with Happy Mondays. Hell of a bass player.”