Jazz pianist Chick Corea has passed away at the age of 79 from a rare form of cancer, according to a statement posted on his website.
The renowned jazz musician began his career in 1966 and won a staggering 23 Grammy awards for his work.
“I want to thank all of those along my journey who have helped keep the music fires burning bright. It is my hope that those who have an inkling to play, write, perform or otherwise, do so,” Corea said in a statement written before his death and posted to his social media account on Thursday.
“If not for yourself then for the rest of us. It’s not only that the world needs more artists, it’s also just a lot of fun.”
In 1968, Corea replaced Herbie Hancock in Miles Davis’ group, playing on the landmark albums “In a Silent Way” and “Bitches Brew.”
He formed his own avant-garde group, Circle, and then founded Return to Forever.
He’s worked on many other projects, including duos with Hancock and vibraphonist Gary Burton. He recorded and performed classical music, standards, solo originals, Latin jazz and tributes to great jazz pianists.
Last year, Corea released the double album “Plays,” which captured him at various concerts armed simply with his piano.
Corea said in a statement released by his team: “My mission has always been to bring the joy of creating anywhere I could, and to have done so with all the artists that I admire so dearly—this has been the richness of my life.”