Steely Dan keyboardist Jim Beard dead at 63

Jim Beard, keyboardist and singer with Steely Dan, has died aged 63.

The musician passed away in a New York City hospital on Saturday due to complications from a sudden illness.

A rep for Beard told People magazine that he had been surrounded by loved ones when he died.

After building a successful career as a jazz musician, Beard won a Grammy in 2007 for his work on the record Some Skunk Funk.

He joined Steely Dan in 2008 as a touring musician, playing keyboards and singing back-up vocals.

The band has released a statement announcing his death.

"It is with great sadness that we announce the loss of our friend and colleague," the remaining members of the band posted to its official website.

Beard was most recently out on the road with the Reelin' in the Years rock group as they supported music legends The Eagles on their final tour.

His last stage appearance was on 20 January, playing to an audience of more than 18,000 people at the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona.

Beard is survived by his two children, son Victor and daughter Caitlin Beard.