Greg Lake, King Crimson and Emerson, Lake and Palmer musician, dies

Greg Lake 
Greg Lake  Credit:  Ian Dickson/REX/Shutterstock

Former King Crimson frontman Greg Lake has died aged 69, his manager has confirmed

The musician, who was also part of progressive rock group Emerson, Lake & Palmer, died on December 7 after suffering from cancer.

Manager Stewart Young wrote on Lake's official website:

"I lost my best friend to a long and stubborn battle with cancer.

"Greg Lake will stay in my heart forever, as he has always been.

"His family would be grateful for privacy during this time of their grief."

His death comes nine months after that of former bandmate Keith Emerson.

Emerson was found to have shot himself in the head, a Los Angeles coroner said.

A statement from King Crimson's record label, DGM Live, said they sent their "condolences and respects to Greg's family".

Lake was deemed a giant of progressive rock for his work with King Crimson and Emerson, Lake and Palmer.

Carl Palmer, Keith Emerson and Greg Lake in 1973

Formed in 1967, King Crimson were seminal in the genre, with 1969's In The Court Of The Crimson King deemed their most successful and influential album.

After Lake struck up a friendship with Emerson – at the time a keyboardist for The Nice – the pair teamed up and recruited Carl Palmer to form the prog supergroup in 1970.

Lake was born in Bournemouth in 1947 and started playing guitar at the age of 12. In 1969 he formed King Crimson with a school friend, Robert Fripp. They released their debut album, In The Court of the Crimson King in the same year and had immediate success, setting a bar for progressive rock and receiving praise from Pete Townshend of The Who. 

Greg Lake performing in 2005 Credit:  Martin Dalton/REX/Shutterstock

In the early Seventies, Lake continued to play with both Emerson, Lake and Palmer and King Crimson. He released a solo single in 1975, I Believe in Father Christmas, which has become a staple festive song.

Lake still performed with his own band and, until 2010, with Emerson and Palmer for what would become their last live concert. 

Fellow musicians and fans paid tribute to Lake on social media: