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R.I.P. Gerard Smith (1975-2011)

TV on the Radio's bassist Gerard Smith (far

TV on the Radio's bassist Gerard Smith (far right) died April 20, 2011 after battling lung cancer. Photo Credit: Michael Lavine

Gerard Smith (pictured on the far right), bassist/keyboardist for Brooklyn-based TV on the Radio, died Wednesday morning after battling lung cancer for several months. He was 36.

“We are very sad to announce the death of our beloved friend and bandmate, Gerard Smith, following a courageous fight against lung cancer,” the band announced on its website. “Gerard passed away the morning of April 20th, 2011. We will miss him terribly.”

TV on the Radio, which was in Detroit for a show tonight, has cancelled concerts through next week, including the one scheduled for tonight.

Smith's bass and keyboards were a distinctive part of the TV on the Radio sound since he joined the band in 2005 for its breakthrough album “Return to Cookie Mountain.” He revealed his illness shortly after completing the band's “Nine Types of Light” album, which was released last week and debuted at No. 12 on the Billboard charts today.

"Gerard was a classy, thoughtful guy and he always seemed kind of bemused by the rock'n'roll thing," said Spin music editor Charles Aaron. "He hung back, because he didn't write the band's songs, and didn't wanna try to interpret the other guys' work, but he had plenty of strong opinions."

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