Ray Manzarek, keyboardist and founding member of The Doors, died Monday in Germany after a long battle with cancer, aged 74.
His death was announced in a statement on the iconic band’s Facebook page, which added that he died surrounded by his wife and brothers in a clinic in Rosenheim.
The Washington Post ran a photo gallery in his honor.
Manzarek formed The Doors with Jim Morrison in 1965 after the two met by chance in Venice Beach, California, where both were film students, according to The Times of London.
Morrison died in the bath in his Paris apartment of a suspected drug overdose in 1971, aged 27.
On July 7, 2011, two remaining members of legendary rock group — Manzarek and guitarist Robby Krieger — played their first ever concert in Russia to mark the 40th anniversary of Morrison’s death.
The Doors was one of the most successful bands on the Billboard 200 albums chart in the late 1960s and early 1970s, racking up seven top 10 releases between 1967 and 1971, according to the Billboard website.
The Doors’ self-titled debut album was released on Elektra Records in 1967 and went on to spend two weeks at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart, second only to the Beatles’ No. 1 “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”.
“Light My Fire” helped it stay 121 weeks on the Billboard 200, with the track itself at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for three weeks, as the first of 16 Hot 100 hits for the band.