Deep Purple keyboardist, Jon Lord, has died after battling cancer for just over a year. He was 71 years old. The diagnosis came in 2011 when a cancerous tumor was found on his pancreas. Deep Purple was founded by Lord in 1968 and is most famous for songs like "Smoke on the Water," "Highway Star" and "Hush." Deep Purple – which featured Lord along with singer Ian Gillan, guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, drummer Ian Paice and bassist Roger Glover – was one of the top hard rock bands of the `70s. Influenced by classical music, blues and jazz, Lord took his Hammond organ and distorted its sound to powerful effect. The group went on to sell more than 100 million albums before splitting in 1976. Lord went on to play with hard rock group Whitesnake in the late 1970s and early 1980s and later, a re-formed Deep Purple.
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