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Pink Floyd Rocker Wright Passes On

Richard Wright wrote "The Great Gig in the Sky." Now he's playing keyboards with the Heaven house band.

Pink Floyd fans were rendered uncomfortably numb this morning as word spread of Wright's death this morning at his London home. He was 65.

"The family of Richard Wright, founder member of Pink Floyd, announce with great sadness that Richard died today after a short struggle with cancer," a spokesman for the Wright family said.

"The family have asked that their privacy is respected at this difficult time."

Wright last regrouped with his bandmates in 2005 for at a one-off reunion set at Live 8.

"I really don't know what to say other than that he was such a lovely, gentle, genuine man and will be missed terribly by so many who loved him," singer and guitarist David Gilmour, who joined the group in 1968, wrote in a posting to his website.

"And that's a lot of people. Did he not get the loudest, longest round of applause at the end of every show in 2006?"

Wright became a founding member of the legendary rock group after a stint in the band's original incarnation as Sigma 6, formed after meeting Roger Waters and Nick Mason in architecture school.

Wright briefly left the group in the early '80s but rejoined his rock brethren for their 1987 release, A Momentary Lapse of Reason. He stayed on with the rockers through the release of their final studio album, 1994's The Division Bell.

The full band reunited for the first time in 24 years in 2005, to perform at London's Live 8 concert.

(Originally published on Sept. 15, 2008 at 10:16 a.m. PT)

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