Peter Tork (real name: Peter Halsten Thorkelson) keyboardist and bass guitarist of musical acting quartet The Monkees, passed away on Thursday of unknown causes. He had been battling adenoid cystic carcinoma, a rare, slow-growing form of head and neck cancer since 2009. The death was first announced on Tork’s Facebook page and confirmed by his sister Anne Thorkelson in The Washington Post. He was 77-years-old.

“It is with beyond-heavy and broken hearts that we share the devastating news that our friend, mentor, teacher, and amazing soul, Peter Tork, has passed from this world,” the official Peter Tork page states. “Please know that Peter was extremely appreciative of you, his Torkees, and one of his deepest joys was to be out in front of you, playing his music, and seeing you enjoy what he had to share. We send blessings and thoughts of comfort to you all, with much gratitude.”

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