Moody Blues founding member Mike Pinder dies at 82

The singer and keyboardist was the last surviving original member of the band.

Mike Pinder – keyboardist, vocalist and founding member of the Moody Blues – passed away Wednesday at the age of 82. The news was confirmed in a statement from his family, which was shared on Facebook by his Moody Blues bandmate, John Lodge.

"Michael's family would like to share with his trusted friends and caring fans that he passed peacefully," reads the statement. "His final days were filled with music, encircled by the love of his family. Michael lived his life with a childlike wonder, walking a deeply introspective path which fused the mind and the heart."

"He created his music and the message he shared with the world from this spiritually grounded place," the statement continued. "His authentic essence lifted up everyone who came into contact with him. His lyrics, philosophy, and vision of humanity and our place in the cosmos will touch generations to come."

Pinder was remembered by his Moody Blues bandmate Justin Hayward as "a natural born musician who could play any style of music with warmth and love." He added, "He was a huge part of my own musical journey. My sincere condolences to his loving and devoted family."

The Moody Blues were formed in May 1964 by Pinder and multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Ray Thomas, who recruited guitarist/vocalist Denny Laine, drummer Graeme Edge, and bassist Clint Warwick. Guitarist/vocalist Hayward and bassist/vocalist Lodge joined the band after Laine and Warwick's departures in 1966. Pinder was the last surviving original member of the band.

The Moody Blues were influential in the development of progressive rock, with their sophomore album "Days of Future Passed" considered by some to be the first real example of the genre. It contained the classic hit "Nights in White Satin," which was initially released in 1967, but peaked at #2 in the U.S. when it was reissued in 1972.

The Moody Blues, including Pinder, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018.