ELO bassist Kelly Groucutt died of a heart attack Thursday, at the age of 63. According to the BBC, the bassist/vocalist reportedly suffered the heart attack Wednesday night and never regained consciousness. He passed away Thursday afternoon at Worcestershire Royal Hospital.
Groucutt, along with cellist Melvyn Gale, joined the Jeff Lynne-fronted group in 1975, just in time for Electric Light Orchestra's 'Face the Music' album. With the new additions, the band, who had already had success with the ballad 'Can't Get It Out of My Head,' became one of the '70s biggest-selling rock acts, scoring immediate hit singles off that album with 'Evil Woman' and 'Strange Magic.'
Groucutt left the band in 1983, eventually suing Lynne, management and other members for unpaid royalties (the suit was resolved with an out of court settlement). Despite the suit, Groucutt went on to play in several ELO spinoff projects, including ELO Part II.
A statement on his official website says, "Our hearts and thoughts go out to Anna (his wife) and Kelly's family. He touched all of our lives with his love, kindness and generosity as well as his talent for music and song. He was a true and wonderful friend who loved every second of life and he will be greatly missed by us all."