Andy Rourke: The Smiths bassist has died aged 59

Rourke, 59, played the Smiths’ classics as well as solo songs for Morrisey after the group broke up.

During his career, Rourke, described by Marr as a “kind and beautiful soul”, was also a member of the supergroup Freebass, along with fellow Mancunian musicians Peter Hook of New Order and Mani of the Stone Roses.

Rourke also performed on music by Sinead O’Connor, the Pretenders and Ian Brown.

Smiths guitarist Marr shared the news on social media, saying: “It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of Andy Rourke, who has been ill with pancreatic cancer.

“Andy will be remembered as a kind and beautiful soul by all who knew him, and a supremely gifted musician by music fans.

“We ask for privacy at this sad time.”

Suede bassist Mat Osman paid tribute to Rourke’s brilliance, saying, “Oh man. RIP Andy Rourke. An absolute one-off – a rare bassist whose sound was immediately recognizable.

“I vividly remember playing that barbarism break over and over, trying to learn the riff, and marveling at that steely funk that drives the track.” Andy Rourke: The Smiths bassist has died aged 59

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