Bennett has passed away aged 45

Former Wilco band member Jay Bennett has died aged 45.

The multi-instrumentalist died in his Illinois home on Saturday night (May 23), although the cause of death has not been revealed. A message on the website of his record label Undertow Music, Undertowmusic.com, explained that he died “in his sleep”.

Bennett played with Wilco from 1994 to 2001, leaving the Americana band because of a fall-out with band leader Jeff Tweedy.

Earlier this month he sued the band for $50,000 (£33,000), claiming he was owed royalties for albums he worked on while in the band.

Tweedy said in a statement: “We are all deeply saddened by this tragedy. We will miss Jay as we remember him – as a truly unique and gifted human being and one who made welcome and significant contributions to the band’s songs and evolution. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends in this very difficult time.”

As well as his work with Wilco Bennett was a session musician, playing with artists including Sheryl Crow.