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Jazz legend Chick Corea dead at 79

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Legendary pianist and jazz musician Chick Corea, who is behind the songs “Spain,” “500 Miles High” and many others, passed away at the age of 79 on Thursday.

Corea’s representative announced the musician’s passing on his official Facebook, saying he died “from a rare form of cancer which was only discovered very recently.”

Corea, who was nominated for 67 Grammy Awards and brought home 23 of them, “relished in the freedom and the fun to be had in creating something new, and in playing the games that artists do,” the statement continued,

The statement also included his final message to fans, of which he thanked them for supporting him over the years.

“I want to thank all of those along my journey who have helped keep the music fires burning bright. It is my hope that those who have an inkling to play, write, perform or otherwise, do so. If not for yourself then for the rest of us. It’s not only that the world needs more artists, it’s also just a lot of fun,” his final message read.

Calling it a “blessing and an honor” to work alongside his friends in the music industry, Corea added, “My mission has always been to bring the joy of creating anywhere I could, and to have done so with all the artists that I admire so dearly—this has been the richness of my life.”

During his career, Corea composed 81 studio albums, 17 live albums and eight compilation albums.  He was hailed as one of the greatest jazz musicians of his lifetime and for leaving an indelible mark on the industry as a whole. His many career highlights include his work with Miles Davis during the 1960s and early ’70s, particularly the influential 1970 jazz-fusion album Bitches Brew, and his recordings with his own group Return to Forever. Among the notable artists from the pop and rock worlds that he performed and recorded with are Cat Stevens, Warren Zevon, Rick Derringer, Chaka Khan, Stevie Wonder, Steve Vai and YesJon Anderson.

Corea’s family is asking for privacy at this time.

By Megan Stone
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