The Smiths' bassist Andy Rourke has passed away at the age of 59 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Johnny Marr, the band's former guitarist, took to social media to announce the death of his beloved friend and bandmate.
"It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Andy Rourke after a lengthy illness with pancreatic cancer. Andy will be remembered as a kind and beautiful soul by those who knew him and as a supremely gifted musician by music fans. We request privacy at this sad time." Information regarding an exact time and location of death has not been shared as friends and family mourn the loss of their loved one.
Rourke was born in Manchester, Lancashire, England in 1964. According to TMZ, Rourke joined The Smiths in the 80's and was featured on all four of the group's albums including, The Smiths released in 1984, Meat Is Murder released in 1985, The Queen Is Dead released in 1986, and Strangeways Here We Come, released in 1987. The band broke up shortly after Strangeways Here We Come was released, followed by an ongoing battle regarding royalties. The band never reunited and Rourke went on to produce music with The Smiths' lead singer, Morrissey, and The Pretenders in later years.