Moody Blues star Ray Thomas has died at the age of 76.
The flautist and vocalist died suddenly on Thursday, his record label confirmed.
Cherry Red Records and Esoteric Recordings said in a statement: “It is with profound sorrow and sadness that Cherry Red Records and Esoteric Recordings regret to announce that Ray Thomas, founder member, flautist and vocalist of the Moody Blues, passed away suddenly at his home in Surrey on Thursday 4th January 2018.
“We are deeply shocked by his passing and will miss his warmth, humour and kindness.
“It was a privilege to have known and worked with him and our thoughts are with his family and his wife Lee at this sad time.”
In 2014, Thomas revealed on his website that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer.
He said he received his diagnosis in 2013, writing: “My cancer was in-operable but I have a fantastic doctor who immediately started me on a new treatment that has had 90% success rate.
“The cancer is being held in remission but I’ll be receiving this treatment for the rest of my life.”
Born in Stourport-on-Severn on December 29 1941, Thomas started out in blues and soul groups in the 1960s and later formed The Moody Blues alongside Mike Pinder, Denny Laine, Graeme Edge and Clint Warwick.
The rock band’s hits include Go Now, Nights In White Satin and Question.
Thomas also enjoyed solo success with albums From Mighty Oaks and Hopes Wishes And Dreams.
The Moody Blues, including Thomas, were to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2018.