John Wetton Dies

John Wetton, bassist and singer for Asia and previously King Crimson, died of colon cancer Jan. 31. He was 67.

Mary Andrews /
– John Wetton of Asia
Fox Tucson Theatre, Tucson, Ariz.

Wetton was planning on taking part in Asia’s U.S. arena tour with Journey, and Cruise to the Edge, but was forced to withdraw to undergo chemotherapy, according to

Wetton made a name for himself with King Crimson in the early 70s and later formed the band UK. He was a founding member of supergroup Asia in the 1980s, which was his biggest commercial success. Asia’s debut self-titled album in 1982 launched the mega-hit “Heat of the Moment.”

The performer also had a successful solo career, including the album Battle Lines, and formed Icon with Asia bandmate Geoff Downes.

The original line-up of Asia reformed in 2006 and toured the world several times to promote four new studio albums.

“With the passing of my good friend and musical collaborator, John Wetton, the world loses yet another musical giant.,” Asia founding member Carl Palmer wrote. “John was a gentle person who created some of the most lasting melodies and lyrics in modern popular music. As a musician, he was both brave and innovative, with a voice that took the music of ASIA to the top of the charts around the world. His ability to triumph over alcohol abuse made him an inspiration to many who have also fought that battle. For those of us who knew him and worked with him, his valiant struggle against cancer was a further inspiration. I will miss his talent, his sense of humor and his infectious smile. May you ride easy, my old friend.”