Peter Tork: Monkees bassist and singer dies at age 77

The Monkees bassist and singer Peter Tork has died at the age of 77.

The star’s sister Anne Thorkelson confirmed the news to the Washington Post earlier today, but did not share the cause of death.

His official social media channels also shared a statement announcing his passing, which read: "It is with beyond-heavy and broken hearts that we share the devastating news that our friend, mentor, teacher and amazing soul, Peter Tork, has passed from this world."

Tork was previously diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma, a rare form of tongue cancer, in 2009, but made a full recovery.

Monkeying around: Tork with his bandmates (Photo by NBC Television/Courtesy of Getty Images) (Getty Images)
Monkeying around: Tork with his bandmates (Photo by NBC Television/Courtesy of Getty Images) (Getty Images)

The multi-talented musician sang and played keyboards, bass guitar and other instruments for The Monkees, the four-piece band who also appeared in an Emmy-winning NBC series.

He was the only member of the group allowed to play his own instruments on the band's first two albums, and wrote songs including For Pete's Sake and Lady's Baby.

Though he officially left the group in 1968, Tork later rejoined bandmates Davy Jones and Micky Dolenz for a 20th anniversary reunion tour, and went on to perform with The Monkees intermittently from 1986, while also playing with his own groups The Peter Tork Project and Shoe Suede Blues.

Most recently, he toured with Dolenz and Michael Nesmith to mark the 45th anniversary of their album Headquarters in 2012, and to pay tribute to Jones after his death in that year. They also played gigs in 2013 and 2014.

Dolenz lead tributes to his former bandmate, saying that he was "heartbroken" over the loss of his "Monkee brother."

"There are no words right now... heart broken over the loss of my Monkee brother, Peter Tork," he wrote on Twitter.

Beach Boys star Brian Wilson also shared a message of condolence, writing on Twitter: "I’m sad to hear about Peter Tork passing. I thought The Monkees were great and Peter will be missed. Love & mercy to Peter’s family, friends and fans."