British keyboard legend Keith Emerson, co-founder of the rock trio Emerson, Lake and Palmer, died early Friday at his home in California, with police treating the case as a possible suicide.
The band's Facebook page and his manager confirmed the death. The keyboardist was 71.
Drummmer Carl Palmer mourned his bandmate in a statement on his personal website.
"Keith was a gentle soul whose love for music and passion for his performance as a keyboard player will remain unmatched for years to come."
He called Emerson a "pioneer and an innovator" in rock, classical and jazz music.
His death at his home in Santa Monica was being investigated as a possible suicide, a police spokesman said.
Founded in 1970 by Emerson and Palmer with Greg Lake, Emerson, Lake and Palmer released eight gold-selling albums, with hits including Lucky Man. The band dissolved in 1978 but reunited in the 1990s.
Since 2004, Emerson led the Keith Emerson Band. He also made a name for himself as a solo artist on the synthesizer, piano and in cinema scores.
Emerson was born in 1944 in northern England, but grew up on England's south coast and moved to London as a teenager. He played piano as a child and was influenced in his own work by classical composers.
"Keith Emerson R.I.P.," Sean Ono Lennon, son of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, wrote on Twitter.
"This is getting out of control," he added, in an apparent reference to the death of Beatles' producer George Martin at 90 just three days earlier.