Alan White, drummer for Yes and the Plastic Ono Band, died at the age of 72
Alan White, the British drummer who played in the progressive rock band Yes and featured on John Lennon's "Imagine," has died at the age of 72.
The musician, who was born in County Durham, England, died on Thursday in the United States after a brief illness, according to a statement posted on his Facebook page.
"Alan White, our beloved husband, dad, and grandpa, passed away at the age of 72 at his Seattle-area home on May 26, 2022, after a brief illness," the post read.
"Throughout his life and six-decade career, Alan was many things to many people: a certified rock star to fans around the world, band mate to a select few, and gentleman and friend to all who met him."
Yes stated on Twitter that they were "shocked and stunned" by White's death, stating that he had been looking forward to a planned UK tour and commemorating his 50th anniversary with the band, which he joined in 1972.
White's bandmates said they will dedicate their "Close to the Edge" UK tour in June to their "much-loved drummer."
Following his passing, tributes from celebrities and musicians all around the world filled social media.
Former Yes bandmate Rick Wakeman shared with his 85,000 Twitter followers: "I was so sad to hear about the passing of Alan yesterday. He was such a gentle soul... except when behind his drum kit where he was so powerful and creative. I will miss you brother."
Artist and activist Yoko Ono, who was married to the late John Lennon and worked with White in the Plastic Ono Band, remembered him as a "wonderful drummer who was an essential part of the sound of Imagine, Instant Karma! and more recordings."
Spandau Ballet frontman Gary Kemp simply wrote: "RIP the great Alan White."White began playing the drums at age 12 and was performing in public within a year, his family said in its Facebook post.
Before joining Yes, he was a member of numerous other bands, including the Downbeats, the Gamblers, and Bell & Arc.
White was persuaded to join the Plastic Ono Band by John Lennon in 1969, which led to him appearing on multiple Lennon albums, including "Imagine."
According to his family, when White joined Yes in July 1972, he had only three days to learn the songs before the start of a major US tour. "Owner of a Lonely Heart," "Long Distance Runaround," and "Roundabout" were among his hits.
Throughout his long musical career, he collaborated with stars such as George Harrison, Steve Winwood, and Eric Clapton.
In 2017, White was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Yes.