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Deep Purple's Jon Lord Dies at 71

Jon Lord, Deep Purple

Jon Lord, the British keyboardist who cofounded the band Deep Purple, passed away in London on Monday from a pulmonary embolism after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 71.

As a member of the popular hard-rock group, Lord cowrote many of its hits, including "Smoke on the Water," "Woman From Tokyo" and "Highway Star."

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Thanks to such songs, which utilized Lord's classical, blues and jazz influences, the band went on to sell more than 100 million albums.

Lord's time in the spotlight, though, wasn't just limited to Deep Purple. He also played for several other bands and artists such as Whitesnake and Pink Floyd's David Gilmour.

"Jon passed from Darkness to Light," read a statement on Lord's official website, which noted he was "surrounded by his loving family."

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