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The Smiths bassist dies aged 59

Andy Rourke, the bassist from rock band The Smiths, has died aged 59 following a “lengthy illness with pancreatic cancer”, the band has announced.

Guitarist Johnny Marr announced his fellow band member’s death with “deep sadness”.

In a statement posted on Twitter, he said: “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.”

Rourke played in The Smiths – an alternative rock band formed in Manchester – along with frontman Morrissey, guitarist Johnny Marr and drummer Mike Joyce.

The band emerged in the 1980s as a key feature of British indie music after being signed to independent label Rough Trade Records in 1983, with hits including This Charming Man and Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now.

This story is being updated.

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