CNN has reported that world-renowned jazz musician and pianist Chick Corea has died, according to an official statement on the musician’s website. Corea was 79 years old. The statement from the musician’s website also confirmed that the legendary artist passed from “a rare form of cancer” that was only just discovered recently.
“He was a beloved husband, father and grandfather, and a great mentor and friend to so many,” reads the statement. “Through his body of work and the decades he spent touring the world, he touched and inspired the lives of millions.”
Throughout his career that spanned more than 50 years, Corea famously collaborated with some of the most iconic names in the history of jazz music including the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Mann and Miles Davis. He began his career working with trumpeter Blue Mitchell and saxophonist Stan Getz before making his studio recording debut as a band leader in 1966 with “Tones For Joan’s Bones”.
During this time, the multi-talented musician also recorded in the studio with Cal Tjader, Donald Byrd and Dizzy Gillespie. In 1968, Corea made his big breakthrough with release of, “Now He Sings, Now He Sobs.” Later that year, he would replace Herbie Hancock in Miles Davis’ band with Ron Carter, Wayne Shorter and Tony Williams. Over the course of his storied career, Corea also worked with R&B singer Chaka Khan. Corea had a massive mid-career hit project in 1982, when he formed the band Echoes of an Era, which was essentially an all-star backing band for Khan’s first foray into jazz.
With 23 wins and 67 nominations, Corea has the most jazz Grammy wins of any artist ever. He most recently performed at the Grammys Awards at last year’s ceremony on January 26 in Los Angeles–one of the last few award ceremonies and major industry gatherings before the coronavirus shut the industry down in March.