Deep Purple star Jon Lord dies, aged 71
ENGLISH rocker Jon Lord, who founded Deep Purple and co-wrote their most famous song, 'Smoke On The Water', has died aged 71.
The Leicester-born keyboard player, who had pancreatic cancer, died in London yesterday.
A statement on his website said he was "surrounded by his loving family" when he died.
Last year, Mr Lord told fans he was "fighting cancer and will therefore be taking a break from performing while getting the treatment and cure".
Deep Purple sold more than 100 million albums -- many featuring Lord's classically inspired keyboards.
The band split in 1976 and Mr Lord joined bandmate Ian Paice in Paice Ashton Lord before playing with Whitesnake. He returned to a reformed Deep Purple in 1984.