Richard Wright of Pink Floyd dies of cancer aged 65

Richard Wright, a founder member of Britain's legendary rock group Pink Floyd, has died at the age of 65 after battling cancer, his spokesman said Monday. The group, led by Syd Barrett, was founded in 1964 and became famous for its genre of psychedelic rock, selling more than 200 million albums worldwide, including 75 million in the US.

Wright was one of its five co-founders. He played the keyboard and wrote music in classic albums such as the Dark Side Of The Moon and Wish You Were Here.

Wright appeared on the group's first album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, in 1967 alongside lead guitarist Barrett, Roger Waters and Nick Mason.

Wright, a self-taught keyboardist and pianist, had met Waters and Mason while at architecture school. In the early days of Pink Floyd, Wright, along with Barrett, was seen as the group's dominant musical force.

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

Wright's spokesman did not say from what form of cancer the star had been suffering. "The family have asked that their privacy is respected at this difficult time."

Wright left the group in 1981 after falling out with Waters following recording sessions for the 1979 hit album The Wall.

He continued to perform with Gilmour and Mason under the Pink Floyd name, following an out of court settlement with Waters over its use.

Wright, the son of a London biochemist, wrote and sang several songs of his own.

The Great Gig In The Sky, and Us and Them, both from the 1973 Dark Side Of The Moon album, were among his most well-known compositions.

In 1978, he recorded his first solo project, Wet Dream.

Pink Floyd developed from one of the most popular bands in the London underground music scene in the 1960s to a progressive rock band.

Its distinctive sonic experimentation, use of jazz and blues elements, elaborate live shows and philosophical lyrics left a lasting legacy on the history of British rock music.

In 2005, the full band reunited, for the first time in 24 years, to perform at the Live 8 concert against poverty in London's Hyde Park.

write your comments about the article :: 2008 Jazz News :: home page