The progressive rock pioneer endured a "long and stubborn battle with cancer."

By Hayden Wright

Greg Lake, who gained notoriety as a founding member of King Crimson and pioneered progressive rock with Emerson, Lake & Palmer, passed away yesterday at age 69. The singer and multi-instrumentalist lost a lengthy cancer battle, according to close friend Stewart Young.

“Yesterday, December 7th, I lost my best friend to a long and stubborn battle with cancer,” he wrote. “Greg Lake will stay in my heart for ever, as he has always been. His family would be grateful for privacy during this time of their grief.”

Related: Emerson, Lake & Palmer to Reissue First Three Albums

As a progressive rock icon, Lake was part of the movement that brought symphonic elements—Moog synthesizers, Hammond organs—into the rock and roll genre. Earlier this year, Lake expressed condolences for his Emerson, Lake & Palmer bandmate Keith Emerson, who died from suicide.

“He lived, in the end, this very lonely existence of someone who was deeply troubled,” Lake said of Emerson. “I saw someone who became increasingly confused, desperate and depressed.”

Here are some Twitter tributes to Lake following the news:

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