Prog Rock Icon Emerson Dies

Celebrated keyboardist and composer Keith Emerson, 71, died in his home in Santa Monica, Calif., March 11.

Photo: Paul A. Hebert/Invision/AP, file
Attending the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) show in Anaheim, Calif.

Emerson was best known for his work with Emerson, Lake and Palmer, which led the progressive rock movement of the 1970s.

The band’s performances were sometimes unpredictable, as Emerson was known to destroy his equipment during a show. He also pioneered incorporating his organ onto the stage, including using a rotating platform.

His career began with Nice and took off when he formed ELP with drummer Carl Palmer and guitarist Greg Lake in 1970. He started building a solo career in 1982, and also scored several films. Information regarding the cause of death was not available at press time.