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Stranglers’ Dave Greenfield Dead At 71 After Coronavirus Battle

Dave Greenfield, the keyboard player for British punk band The Stranglers since 1975, has died after testing positive for coronavirus. He was 71.

According to the band's official website, Greenfield had been in hospital suffering heart problems, when he contracted the virus and later succumbed to the illness.

“Following a stay in hospital for heart problems, Dave tested positive for the COVID-19 virus last Sunday but he sadly lost his battle last night,” the group reported in a statement. “Dave was a lovable, friendly and eccentric character who always had time to chat.”

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The Stranglers bass player Jean-Jacques "JJ" Burnel paid tribute to his former bandmate, praising him as a "musical genius".

"On the evening of Sunday May 3rd, my great friend and longstanding colleague of 45 years, the musical genius that was Dave Greenfield, passed away as one of the victims of the Great Pandemic of 2020," he wrote.

Dave Greenfield and Hugh Cornwell of The Stranglers backstage at Malvern Winter Gardens, Malvern, United Kingdom, on 6 October 1977. Image: Getty

"All of us in the worldwide Stranglers' family grieve and send our sincerest condolences to [Greenfield's wife] Pam."

Drummer Jet Black also added, "We have just lost a dear friend and music genius, and so has the whole world.

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"Dave was a complete natural in music. Together, we toured the globe endlessly and it was clear he was adored by millions. A huge talent, a great loss, he is dearly missed."

Current vocalist and guitarist Baz Warne described Greenfield as "a true innovator" and a "musical legend", saying, "The word genius is bandied around far too easily in this day and age, but Dave Greenfield certainly was one."

Greenfield was responsible for penning The Stranglers' biggest hit, "Golden Brown" -- a song about heroin -- which climbed to number two on the UK singles chart back in 1982.

He was also renowned for his unique sound and playing style, using instruments like harpsichord and Hammond electric organ, with critics comparing his sound to that of Ray Manzarek from The Doors.

The Stranglers were recently forced to postpone their farewell tour due to the pandemic.

Image: Getty