Legendary guitarist Jeff Beck, who rose to fame as a member of the rock band The Yardbirds, has died at age 78.
The British rock icon made headlines last year after he invited Johnny Depp on a joint tour after the actor’s highly publicized defamation trial against his ex-wife Amber Heard.
The pair also released a collaborative album titled 18 with an official single, This Is a Song for Miss Hedy Lamarr.
His death was announced on his official Instagram page with a photo of the late rocker and a statement in the caption.
“On behalf of his family, it is with deep and profound sadness that we share the news of Jeff Beck’s passing,” the statement read.
It continued, “After suddenly contracting bacterial meningitis, he peacefully passed away yesterday. His family ask for privacy while they process this tremendous loss.”
Beck is regarded as one of the greatest and most influential guitarists of all time.
He received the Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance six times and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice: initially as a member of the Yardbirds and later as a solo artist.
What is bacterial meningitis?
“Meningitis is an infection of the protective membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord,” according to the British National Health Service (NHS).
The medical service notes that bacterial meningitis, which Beck succumbed to, is rarer and more dangerous than viral meningitis.
Some of the symptoms of the illness include fever, a stiff neck, drowsiness, and seizures.
NHS estimates that up to 1 in every 10 cases of bacterial meningitis leads to death.
It is unclear how Beck contracted the illness but it can be spread through sneezing, coughing, and kissing.
Tributes pour in for Jeff Beck
Numerous tributes poured in for Beck with Rod Stewart, Ronnie Wood, and Gene Simmons mourning his death.
Stewart shared a photo of the pair and reminisced about their time together touring in the 60s.
Ronnie Wood shared several photos with Beck and praised the British rocker for “conquering America.”
Gene Simmons said he was heartbroken by the news of Beck’s death and said he was in a league of his own as a guitarist.
Paul McCartney expressed his sadness over the rockstar’s death and praised his sense of humor.
Beck had no children and is survived by his wife Sandra Cash.
RIP Jeff, you’re one of the true and exceptional guitar talents the world has ever known. We’ll all miss you and your unmatched guitar talent; as well as your one-of-a-kind sound.
You could make any guitar off the shelf sound absolutely fantastic — who else could do that but you? You were unbelievably talented. We will all miss you greatly.