The esteemed multi-instrumentalist musician Ian McDonald has passed away on February 9. McDonald is most well known as being one of the founding members of the legendary progressive rock band King Crimson, as well as the rock band Foreigner.
According to Consequence Sound, a representative has confirmed that McDonald passed peacefully, surrounded by his family in New York City. ABC News reports that a Facebook post from the musician’s son, Max McDonald has confirmed that the musician had been in a battle with cancer, which was presumably his cause of death.
Max went on to say of his father that “My father was a brilliant, intuitive musician, a gentle soul, and a wonderful dad. He will live on forever through his beautiful music and the love of his fans.”
McDonald founded King Crimson in 1968 alongside Greg Lake and Robert Fripp. His influence on their first and arguably most revered album, In the Court of the Crimson King, is extremely apparent as a result of the fact that he was involved in writing most of the songs, and played an almost absurd number of instruments throughout the album. On the project, he played piano, saxophone, vibraphone, flute, to name only a few. However, he ended up leaving the group less than a year after the album’s release. He later briefly rejoined the group and left, and then went on to form Foreigner alongside Mick Jones, Lou Gramm and others.
McDonald’s passing follows not long after the passing of former King Crimson singer Gordon Haskell in 2020, as well as the band’s former drummer Bill Reiflin in the same year.