Is Keith Emerson Living or Dead?

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Keith Emerson

British recording artist; keyboard player and composer (1944-2016)

Keith Emerson is ...


Born 2 November 1944 in Todmorden
Died 11 March 2016 in Santa Monica
Age 71 years, 4 months
Cause ballistic trauma

Sex or gender male
Country of citizenship United Kingdom
Birth name Keith Noel Emerson
Manner of death suicide
Occupation composer, musician, keyboardist, film score composer and recording artist
Instrument piano, Hammond organ, pipe organ, celesta, Moog synthesizer, musical keyboard, accordion and clavinet
Awards Frankfurter Musikpreis
Genre progressive rock
Member of The Nice, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Emerson, Lake & Powell and 3

About Keith Emerson

Keith Emerson was a British keyboard player and composer who rose to fame in the 1970s as a member of the progressive rock band Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Born on November 2, 1944, in Todmorden, England, Emerson began playing piano at a young age and was soon drawn to the sounds of jazz and classical music.

In the mid-1960s, Emerson formed the Nice, a pioneering band that blended rock, jazz, and classical music. The group's innovative sound and Emerson's virtuosic keyboard playing quickly earned them a devoted following, and they went on to release several acclaimed albums.

In 1970, Emerson teamed up with bassist Greg Lake and drummer Carl Palmer to form Emerson, Lake & Palmer. The trio's ambitious, symphonic rock sound and elaborate stage shows made them one of the biggest bands of the era, and they released a string of hit albums throughout the 1970s.

Emerson's keyboard playing was a defining element of the band's sound, and his use of the Moog synthesizer helped to popularize the instrument in rock music. He was also known for his flamboyant stage presence, which often included elaborate keyboard solos and acrobatic feats.

After the breakup of Emerson, Lake & Palmer in the 1980s, Emerson continued to record and perform as a solo artist and with other groups. He also composed music for films and television, including the score for the 1981 horror film "Inferno."

Throughout his career, Emerson was widely regarded as one of the greatest keyboard players in rock music history, and his influence can be heard in the work of countless musicians. He died on March 11, 2016, at the age of 71.


- "Keith Emerson, Keyboardist and Emerson, Lake & Palmer Co-Founder, Dead at 71." Rolling Stone, 11 Mar. 2016,

- "Keith Emerson." AllMusic,

About Death

Emerson died on 11 March 2016 in Santa Monica, California, of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. His body was found at his Santa Monica home. Following an autopsy, the medical examiner ruled Emerson's death a suicide, and concluded that he had also suffered from heart disease and from depression associated with alcohol. According to Emerson's girlfriend Mari Kawaguchi, Emerson had become "depressed, nervous and anxious" because nerve damage had hampered his playing, and he was worried that he would perform poorly at upcoming concerts in Japan and disappoint his fans.

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