Rock Star Keith Emerson 'May Have Killed Himself'

The British prog rock star Keith Emerson has died in what police are treating as a suspected suicide.

The 71-year-old is believed to have died some time between Thursday night and Friday morning at his home in Santa Monica, Los Angeles.

Sergeant Erika Aklufi said an investigation is under way to confirm whether the keyboardist died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

“It’s being investigated as a suicide,” Sergeant Aklufi added.

Emerson, born in Todmorden, Yorkshire, was the founding member of British superband Emerson, Lake and Palmer - one of the most famous progressive rock bands of the 1970s.

He helped form The Nice in 1967 before starting ELP in 1970 with former King Crimson guitarist Greg Lake and drummer Carl Palmer.

Palmer said in a statement: “I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of my good friend and brother-in-music Keith Emerson.

"Keith was a gentle soul whose love for music and passion for his performance as a keyboard player will remain unmatched for many years to come.

"He was a pioneer and an innovator whose musical genius touched all of us in the worlds of rock, classical and jazz.

"I will always remember his warm smile, good sense of humour, compelling showmanship and dedication to his musical craft.”

After splitting several times over the decades, ELP reunited for a last tour in 2010, playing their final gig at London’s High Voltage Festival to celebrate their 40th anniversary.

:: Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email