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19th May 2023

Tributes pour in as The Smiths star dies aged 59

Jack Peat

Andy Rourke has been described as a ‘supremely gifted musician’

Tributes have poured in for The Smiths bassist Andy Rourke after he tragically passed away aged 59.

Former bandmate Johnny Marr announced the news on Twitter this morning, describing the Manchester music star as a “supremely gifted musician”.

The tweet said: “It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Andy Rourke after a lengthy illness with pancreatic cancer.

“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 from the 1980s, helping produce hits such as This Charming Man and Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now.

He also played with artists such as The Pretenders, Sinead O’Connor and Badly Drawn Boy.

The bassist was noted for his melodic approach to playing the instrument.

In 2007, he formed Freebass with fellow Mancunian bass players Stone Roses’ Mani and New Order’s Peter Hook.

Tributes flooded in following the announcement.

Hacienda DJ Dave Haslam wrote: “Oh that’s horrible news about a really lovely man. Bless you Andy.

“Sending love to you Johnny and to all Andy’s family and friends x”.

Suede bassist Mat Osman wrote: “Aw man. RIP Andy Rourke. A total one-off – a rare bassist whose sound you could recognise straight away. I remember so clearly playing that Barbarism break over and over, trying to learn the riff, and marvelling at this steely funk driving the track along.”

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