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Grammy Award-winning pianist and composer Chick Corea, a pioneer of jazz fusion, died on Tuesday, his family announced Thursday. He was 79.
In a statement posted on Facebook, the Corea family said he "passed away from a rare form of cancer which was only discovered very recently."
Corea was a member of the pioneering jazz fusion band Return to Forever and avant-garde jazz ensemble Circle, and performed with Miles Davis, Gary Burton, and Herbie Hancock. His solo and collaborative albums The Song of Singing, Return to Forever, and Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy are considered jazz essentials, and over the course of his career, Corea was nominated for 60 Grammys, winning 23 times.
In a final message posted on social media, Corea thanked his fans, saying they "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." He also told his "amazing musician friends" that "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."
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