Singer and multi-instrumentalist Ken Hensley was best known for his time spent in 70s rock band Uriah Heep.
He wrote or co-wrote the majority of the bands songs, including the hit singles Lady in Black, Easy Livin’ and Stealin’.
The former keyboard player has now died at the age of 75.
His brother, Trevor Hensley, confirmed the news in a Facebook post.
He said: “I am writing this with a heavy heart to let you know that my brother Ken Hensley passed away peacefully on Wednesday evening.
“His beautiful wife Monica was at his side and comforted Ken in his last few minutes with us.
“We are all devastated by this tragic and incredibly unexpected loss and ask that you please give us some space and time to come to terms with it.
“Ken has gone but he will never be forgotten and will always be in our hearts.”
Born in Plumstead, London, in 1945, Mr Hensley was raised in Stevenage with his three brothers and sister.
He played alongside young guitarist Mick Taylor, who was later known for his work with John Mayall and The Rolling Stones, in a band he had formed in 1965 called The Gods.
By 1969, Mr Hensley joined Spice, which later changed its name to Uriah Heep.
During his 10-year stint with the band, they recorded 13 studio albums, a live album and many compilations and singles.
Writing on the Uriah Heep Twitter account, former band mate Mick Box said: “I received devastating news this morning from Ken’s manager Steve Weltman that Ken Hensley has passed away.
“My sincere condolences go to his family and wife Monica and may he rest in peace.”
Glenn Hughes added: “Deeply saddened to hear the passing of my dear friend and brother for 5 decades , Ken Hensley.
“An incredible songwriter, guitarist and keyboard player, And more importantly a kind human being, honored to have sung the song ‘last dance’. All my love.”
Mr Hensley will be cremated in a private family ceremony in Spain.