Progressive rock titans Yes have announced the death of drummer Alan White at the age of 72
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Yes drummer Alan White dies aged 72: Tributes are paid to prog rock band member who also appeared on John Lennon’s instant Karma and Imagine

  • Rock band Yes has announced the death of drummer Alan White at the age of 72 
  • The star, born in Durham in 1949, died peacefully at his home after a short illness 
  • White was also the drummer for John Lennon on hits Imagine and Instant Karma!
  • ‘The news has shocked and stunned the entire Yes family,’ the band said

Progressive rock titans Yes have announced the death of drummer Alan White at the age of 72.

The star, who was born in 1949 in Pelton, County Durham, died peacefully at his home near Seattle in the U.S. today following a brief illness.

‘The news has shocked and stunned the entire Yes family,’ the band said.

They said White had been ‘looking forward’ to the forthcoming UK tour and to celebrating his 50th anniversary with Yes, who he joined in 1972 for their Close to the Edge tour.

Prior to joining Yes, White was the drummer of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Plastic Ono Band from 1969 onwards.

He maintained his working relationship with John Lennon for over 10 years until the latter’s death in 1980, recording on eights tracks of his 1971 album Imagine including the title song as well as another hit song, Instant Karma. 

Besides his work with Lennon and Yes, White worked on over 50 albums with the leading artists of his day including George Harrison, Ginger Baker’s Air Force, Terry Reid and Joe Cocker and the Ventures.

Several health setbacks since 2016 had limited White’s appearances on recent tours, when he joined the group on stage towards the end of each set ‘to great applause’, Yes said.

Progressive rock titans Yes have announced the death of drummer Alan White at the age of 72

Progressive rock titans Yes have announced the death of drummer Alan White at the age of 72

Drummer Alan White, of English progressive rock group Yes, 19th September 1974

Drummer Alan White, of English progressive rock group Yes, 19th September 1974

Alan White pictures as Yes were in concert at the Hard Rock Events Center, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Florida, USA - 13 Jul 2019

Alan White pictures as Yes were in concert at the Hard Rock Events Center, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Florida, USA – 13 Jul 2019

Musician Alan White of Yes appears at the Rock 'N' Roll Fantasy Camp at AMP Rehearsal Studios on November 6, 2015 in North Hollywood, California

Musician Alan White of Yes appears at the Rock ‘N’ Roll Fantasy Camp at AMP Rehearsal Studios on November 6, 2015 in North Hollywood, California

White's bandmates said they will dedicate their Close to the Edge UK tour in June to their 'much-loved drummer'

White’s bandmates said they will dedicate their Close to the Edge UK tour in June to their ‘much-loved drummer’

Alan White's family revealed his passing on his Twitter account today

Alan White’s family revealed his passing on his Twitter account today 

White’s bandmates said they will dedicate their Close to the Edge UK tour in June to their ‘much-loved drummer’.

Yes was founded by former frontman Jon Anderson and bassist Chris Squire in 1968 in London, alongside guitarist Peter Banks, keyboardist Tony Kaye and drummer Bill Bruford.

The famous progressive rock band went through numerous line-up changes featuring stars such as White and Rick Wakeman, exploring many musical styles.

Their hits include Owner Of A Lonely Heart, Roundabout and Long Distance Runaround.

Yes were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2017, alongside Joan Baez, Electric Light Orchestra and Journey.

White was married to his wife Gigi for over 40 years and they raised two children Jesse and Cassi. The family lived in Newcastle, Washington, near Seattle, where White died today following a brief illness. 

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