Pulp bassist Steve Mackey dies aged 56

The band announced the sad news in a moving message on Instagram

LEEDS, UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 28: Steve Mackey of Pulp performs on stage during day three of Leeds Festival at Bramham Park on August 28, 2011 in Leeds, United Kingdom. (Photo by Gary Wolstenholme/Redferns)
Steve Mackey of Pulp has died. (Redferns)

Pulp bass player Steve Mackey has died at the age of 56.

The musician's wife Katie posted a message on Instagram saying that he had passed away today (2 March) and that she was "heartbroken".

"After three months in hospital, fighting with all his strength and determination, we are shocked and devastated to have said goodbye my brilliant, beautiful husband, Steve Mackey," she wrote.

Read more: Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker confirms the band will reunite for live shows next year

"Steve died today, a loss which has left myself, his son Marley, parents Kath and Paul, sister Michelle and many friends all heartbroken.

"Steve was the most talented man I knew, an exceptional musician, producer, photographer and filmmaker.

"As in life, he was adored by everyone whose paths he crossed in the multiple creative disciplines he conquered. I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to all the NHS staff who worked tirelessly for Steve. He will be missed beyond words."

The band also paid tribute by sharing a snap of Mackey walking in the mountains.

"Our beloved friend & bass player Steve Mackey passed away this morning," they said.

"Our thoughts are with his family & loved ones.

"This photo of Steve dates from when Pulp were on tour in South America in 2012. We had a day off & Steve suggested we go climbing in the Andes. So we did & it was a completely magical experience.

"Far more magical than staring at the hotel room wall all day (which is probably what we’d have done otherwise). Steve made things happen. In his life & in the band & we’d very much like to think that he’s back in those mountains now, on the next stage of his adventure.

"Safe travels, Steve.

GLASTONBURY, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 25: Steve Mackey of Pulp performs on the Park Stage during the third day of Glastonbury Festival 2011 at Worthy Farm on June 25, 2011 in Glastonbury, United Kingdom. (Photo by Gary Wolstenholme/Redferns)
The band announced Steve Mackey's death on social media. (Redferns)

"We hope to catch up with you one day.

"All our love xx."

Mackey joined Pulp in 1989.

But last year when frontman Jarvis Cocker confirmed the group would reunite for some shows in 2023, he said he would not be joining them.

Jarvis Cocker of the British band Pulp performs during the first weekend of the 2012 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Friday, April 13, 2012, in Indio, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Steve Mackey had been with Pulp since the late 80s. (AP)

He said the band had been a "very important part" of his creative life and that he was "exceptionally proud of the body of work".

Read more: Jarvis Cocker says modern pop music has been 'hijacked' by advertisers

"However I've decided to continue the work I’m engaged in - music, filmmaking and photography projects, and will not be joining them for these UK shows just announced," he added.

Watch: Jarvis Cocker's New Dog and New Pulp Music