Sunday 20 August 2017

'Dramatic and poetic ending' - musician Bruce Hampton collapses and dies on stage, aged 70

Bruce Hampton. Photo: Getty
Bruce Hampton. Photo: Getty
Bruce Hampton on stage. Photo: Getty

Sasha Brady

Avant-garde musician Bruce Hampton has died during a concert that was held in celebration of his 70th birthday.

The avant-garde musician, known as the 'Godfather of the jam scene' was performing at a special concert in Atlanta that was held in honour of his 70th birthday.

Mr Hampton, who called himself the Colonel, had been in the music business for over five decades.

He was the founding father of the avant-garde Hampton Grease Band, who worked with the likes of the Grateful Dead and the Allman Brothers Band.

The concert was hosted by Billy Bob Thornton on Sunday but tragically, as the actor took to the stage to perform with Mr Hampton, the legendary musician was seen falling to his knees.

According to the Associated Press, Thornton cut the performance short, telling the crowd: "We're going to take care of business backstage here. Thank you so much. We love you so much.

Bruce Hampton on stage. Photo: Getty
Bruce Hampton on stage. Photo: Getty

"Thanks for honouring Bruce Hampton here on his 70th," he added.

It is reported that he died of a heart attack.

The Tedeschi Trucks Band, who appeared on the bill for the Atlanta concert posted a statement on their official Facebook page from the Hamtpon's family.

"After collapsing on stage surrounded by his friends, family, fans and the people he loved Col. Bruce Hampton passed away. The family is asking for respect and privacy at this difficult time," the statement read.

Paying tribute to their "musical guru" Hampton in a separate Facebook post, the band remembered Bruce's "mystical" energy.

"We can only take solace in the fact that he was truly surrounded by loving friends and family, honouring his contribution to music and art when he passed," they wrote.

"It was a dramatic and poetic ending to the life of a man whose entire way of living was an art form, but cannot mitigate the sadness of all who loved him. He will be missed and always remembered."

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