Jazz icon and 23-time Grammy Award winner Chick Corea has passed away aged 79.
The legendary keyboardist died from a rare form of cancer, his family confirmed in a social media post on Thursday.
A message shared on his Facebook page read: "It is with great sadness we announce that on February 9th, Chick Corea passed away at the age of 79, from a rare form of cancer which was only discovered very recently.
"Throughout his life and career, Chick relished in the freedom and the fun to be had in creating something new, and in playing the games that artists do.
"He was a beloved husband, father and grandfather, and a great mentor and friend to so many. Through his body of work and the decades he spent touring the world, he touched and inspired the lives of millions.
"Though he would be the first to say that his music said more than words ever could, he nevertheless had this message for all those he knew and loved, and for all those who loved him."
The message continued: "I want to thank all of those along my journey who have helped keep the music fires burning bright.
"It is my hope that those who have an inkling to play, write, perform or otherwise, do so. If not for yourself then for the rest of us.
"It’s not only that the world needs more artists, it’s also just a lot of fun.
"And to my amazing musician friends who have been like family to me as long as I’ve known you: It has been a blessing and an honour learning from and playing with all of you.
"My mission has always been to bring the joy of creating anywhere I could, and to have done so with all the artists that I admire so dearly—this has been the richness of my life."
Armando Anthony "Chick" Corea was an American jazz composer, keyboardist, bandleader and occasional percussionist.
His compositions Spain, 500 Miles High, La Fiesta, Armando's Rhumba and Windows are widely considered jazz standards.
As a member of Miles Davis's band in the late 1960s, he participated in the birth of jazz fusion.
He went on to form Return to Forever in the 1970s and he said that Scientology became a profound influence on his musical direction.
Along with Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner, Keith Jarrett and Bill Evans, Corea is considered one of the major piano voices to emerge in jazz during the post-John Coltrane era.
He continued to pursue multiple collaborations and to explore different musical styles throughout the 1980s and 1990s.
Corea won 23 Grammy Awards and was nominated over 60 times.
He was also known for promoting and fundraising for a number of social issues.
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