The Smiths Bassist Andy Rourke Dead at 59 After Cancer Battle

Andy Rourke, the English musician known for his tenure with The Smiths, has died at the age of 59 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

By Kisha Forde May 19, 2023 1:12 PMTags
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The Smiths are mourning the loss of a beloved member.
The band's bassist Andy Rourke has died at the age of 59 after a battle with cancer, guitarist Johnny Marr shared on May 19.
"It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Andy Rourke after a lengthy illness with pancreatic cancer," he said in a statement posted to Twitter. "Andy will be remembered as a kind and beautiful soul by those who knew him and as a supremely gifted musician by music fans. We request privacy at this sad time."
Shortly after Rourke's passing, the musician received an outpouring of tributes from his fellow members of The Smiths and friends from the music industry.

Bandmate Mike Joyce, who served as the group's drummer, also tweeted, "Not only the most talented bass player I've ever had the privilege to play with but the sweetest, funniest lad I've ever met."

Added Joyce, "Andy's left the building, but his musical legacy is perpetual. I miss you so much already. Forever in my heart mate."

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The Smiths producer Stephen Street also reflected on Rourke's legacy, writing, "I am so saddened to hear this news! Andy was a superb musician and a lovely guy."

Walter McBride/Getty Images

After The Smiths' first gig in 1982, Rourke joined frontman Morrissey, Marr and Joyce to play with the band for five years until their split in 1987.

After the group parted ways, Rourke went on to play alongside a number of other bands, with the musician most recently teaming up with Kav Sandhu of the Happy Mondays to form Blitz Vega. Their last single as a duo, "Strong Forever," was released in November 2022.

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