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County Durham-born Yes drummer Alan White dies aged 72 UK News

Progressive rock titans Yes have announced the death of drummer Alan White at the age of 72.

The star, born in 1949 in Pelton, near Chester le Street, died peacefully at home after a short illness.

“The news has shocked and amazed the entire Yes family,” the band said.

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They said White had been “looking forward” to the upcoming UK tour and celebrating his 50th birthday with Yes, who he joined in 1972 on their Close to the Edge tour.

Multiple health issues since 2016 had limited White’s appearances on recent tours, when he joined the band onstage near the end of each set “to great applause”, Yes said.

White’s bandmates said they would dedicate their Close to the Edge UK tour in June to their “much-loved drummer”.

Yes was founded by former frontman Jon Anderson and bassist Chris Squire in 1968 in London, alongside guitarist Peter Banks, keyboardist Tony Kaye and drummer Bill Bruford.

The famous progressive rock band has seen many line-up changes with stars such as White and Rick Wakeman exploring many musical styles. Their hits include Owner Of A Lonely Heart, Roundabout and Long Distance Runaround.

Yes was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2017, alongside Joan Baez, Electric Light Orchestra and Journey. During his long career in the music industry, White has also worked with stars such as John Lennon, George Harrison and Joe Cocker.

Tributes have already poured in for the much-loved drummer. One person wrote: “Tragic loss for progressive rock, fantastic drummer once met him briefly in London, he will be missed by thousands, what else can you say.”

Another said: “I’m disgusted. It’s so sad right before the tour. To all the Yes family, my deepest condolences. Thank you Alan for all the great memories of the music.” While another wrote: “Another musical hero is gone. This one really hurts. My deepest condolences to his family and bandmates. And of course to Yes fans everywhere. M . White really brought Yes’s music to life. Thank you.”

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