Todmorden-born rock star Keith Emerson dies aged 71

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Keith Emerson, a founding member and keyboardist of Emerson, Lake and Palmer and a prog rock legend, has died.

The Todmorden-born star was 71. No cause of death was released.

Both his bandmate Carl Palmer and the trio’s official Facebook confirmed Emerson’s death.

“We regret to announce that Keith Emerson died last night at his home in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, aged 71. We ask that the family’s privacy and grief be respected,” the band wrote.

Hailed as a keyboard legend, Emerson was one of the most important figures to emerge from the thriving UK rock scene of the 1960s and 1970s.

He is known as one of the most prominent leaders in the progressive rock movement, fusing rock ‘n’ roll with a myriad of musical styles, such as classical, jazz and world music.

Since 2002, he has toured with what he calls ‘the supremely talented young mavericks’ who have helped him provide fresh interpretations of his classic work from the Nice, ELP, and his solo career.

An album of the 2002 tour featuring the current band, Vivacitas, has been released and is available for sale at, the Keith Emerson website, and other retailers. While the album provides a unique perspective on the many aspects of Emerson’s music,

Emerson was born in Todmorden, where his family had been evacuated from the south coast of England during the war. He grew up in the seaside resort of Worthing, West Sussex.