Ian McDonald, best known as a founding member of rock bands King Crimson and Foreigner, has died aged 75. A representative said he “passed away peacefully” on Wednesday in his New York home, surrounded by his family.
His death was confirmed by his son, Max, who wrote on Facebook: “I’m deeply saddened to tell you that my father passed away yesterday from cancer.
“He was incredibly brave, and never lost his kindness or his sense of humour even when the going was rough.
“My father was a brilliant, intuitive musician, a gentle soul, and a wonderful dad. He will live on forever through his beautiful music and the love of his fans. Thank you all.”
Ian formed King Crimson in 1968 and co-wrote their debut album, In the Court of the Crimson King.
He also played the keyboards and saxophone across every track.
The official Twitter account for the group paid tribute to its founding member.
A statement read: “The death of King Crimson co-founder, Ian McDonald, has been announced. His contribution to the original band was invaluable and profound. Our condolences to Ian’s family.”
Since news of Ian’s death broke, tributes have been flooding in.
Billy Idol’s guitarist, Steve Stevens, wrote on Twitter: “Ian McDonald, King Crimson and Foreigner Founding Member has passed away.
“In my opinion their debut record is the most important recording in progressive rock. At times dissonant chaos followed by aching beauty.”
Photographer Fernando Aceves said: “Ian McDonald, one of the fathers of Progressive Rock, has passed away. Here during a rare appearance in Mexico City where I had the opportunity to photograph him. Rest in peace.”
Lead Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett penned: “I’m really sad to hear the news of Ian McDonald’s passing. He was a great friend and an incredible musician/songwriter. He will be very much missed.”
And King Crimson’s biographer, Sid Smith, added: “Saddened to learn of the death of King Crimson co-founder, Ian McDonald. Without his presence in 1969, King Crimson wouldn’t have had the success it did.”