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Keith Emerson's death investigated as suicide

Emerson, Lake & Palmer member died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound

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Keith Emerson of Emerson, Lake & Palmer's death is being investigated as suicide.

As reported, Emerson was confirmed dead yesterday (March 11) after being found at his California home Santa Monica police have subsequently confirmed to BBC News that the cause of death was a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head and that they are investigating the death as a suicide.

Emerson's body was found in the early hours of Friday morning by his girlfriend Mari Kawaguchi at their flat in the Californian city. Sergeant Erika Aklufi said "It's being investigated as a suicide."

The band confirmed the news of Emerson's death on their Facebook page. The statement reads: "We regret to announce that Keith Emerson died last night at his home in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, aged 71. We ask that the family's privacy and grief be respected."

Emerson, Carl Palmer and Greg Lake formed prog rock supergroup Emerson, Lake & Palmer in London in 1970. The band released seven albums, all of which went gold in the US, before splitting in 1979. They released a further two albums during a '90s reunion and also reformed for a North American tour in 2010.

Paying tribute to his former bandmate on Facebook last night (11 March), Carl Palmer wrote: "I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of my good friend and brother-in-music, Keith Emerson. Keith was a gentle soul whose love for music and passion for his performance as a keyboard player will remain unmatched for many years to come."

"He was a pioneer and an innovator whose musical genius touched all of us in the worlds of rock, classical and jazz," Palmer continued. "I will always remember his warm smile, good sense of humour, compelling showmanship, and dedication to his musical craft. I am very lucky to have known him and to have made the music we did, together. Rest in peace, Keith."

Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123

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