Hilton Valentine, founding guitarist of The Animals, whose most famous song The House of the Rising Sun topped the UK and US charts in 1964, has died aged 77.
Valentine's death was confirmed by the band's label ABKCO Music.
It wrote in a statement on Twitter: "Our deepest sympathies go out to @HiltonValentine's family and friends on his passing at the age of 77.
"A founding member and original guitarist of The Animals, Valentine was a pioneering guitar player, influencing the sound of rock and roll for decades to come."
Valentine, from North Tyneside, England, formed the band in 1963 with singer Eric Burdon, bassist Chas Chandler, organist Alan Price and drummer John Steel.
Burdon paid tribute on Instagram, writing: "The opening opus of Rising Sun will never sound the same... You didn't just play it, you lived it. Heartbroken.
"We had great times, Geordie lad. From the North Shields to the entire world.Rock In Peace."