The Smiths' bassist Andy Rourke dies at 59 after lengthy cancer battle

Andy Rourke DJs in New York City, 2013.
Andy Rourke DJs in New York City, 2013. Photo credit: Getty Images

Bassist for The Smiths Andy Rourke has died after a lengthy illness with pancreatic cancer, bandmate Johnny Marr says.

In a short statement on Twitter, Marr said Rourke's passing was announced with "deep sadness".

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

"We request privacy at this sad time."

Marr and Rourke had reunited in 2022 for their first recording together in 35 years, Rolling Stone reported.

Rourke's website states that he "spent his early years honing his bass and guitar skills at the tender age of eleven, before joining the funk group Freak Party alongside his school friend, John Maher a.k.a Johnny Marr.

"It was Marr who introduced Rourke to The Smiths in 1982 ... It was obvious from those early audiences that The Smiths would emerge as one of the most significant alt-rock bands of the era's British independent music scene."

After The Smiths split, Rourke went on to play and record with artists including Morrissey, Sinead O'Connor, The Pretenders, Badly Drawn Boy, and Aziz Ibrahim, his website states.