Mike Pinder, the keyboard player and founding member of The Moody Blues, has died aged 82.

News of his death was shared by his family and by fellow Moody Blues colleague John Lodge.

Sharing an official statement with fans, his family wrote: “Michael Thomas Pinder died on Wednesday, April 24th, 2024 at his home in Northern California, surrounded by his devoted family.

“Michael’s family would like to share with his trusted friends and caring fans that he passed peacefully. 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.”

The statement continued: “He created his music and the message he shared with the world from this spiritually grounded place; as he always said, ‘Keep your head above the clouds, but keep your feet on the ground.’ 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.”

English rock band The Moody Blues pose for a photograph in a first class carriage on a train, 11th November 1964. Left to right : Ray Thomas, Clint Warwick, Mike Pinder, Graeme Edge, and Denny Laine (on shelf). (Photo by Robert Stiggins/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Pinder had been the last surviving founding member of the band. Clint Warwick, the original bassist, died in 2004, and vocalist and flautist Ray Thomas died in 2018. Graeme Edge, who was the original drummer fro the group passed in 2021, and original guitarist Denny Laine died last year.

“All the love possible goes out from the Lodge family to Mike’s family today… RIP,” wrote former Moody Blues colleague and close friend John Lodge.

Similarly, Justin Hayward, who contributed vocals and guitars to the Moody Blues from 1966 until their dissolution in 2018 added: “Mike was a natural born musician who could play any style of music with warmth and love. His re-imagining and rebuilding (literally) of the Mellotron gave us our identifiable early sound. He was a huge part of my own musical journey. My sincere condolences to his loving and devoted family.”

Find more tributes for Mike Pinder below.

Pinder helped form the Moody Blues back in 1964, and while the group had an initial hit with ‘Go Now’, but it wasn’t until three years later that the band began to gain momentum. By this point, Justin Hayward and John Lodge had replaced Laine and Warwick respectively, and their early R&B sound had evolved into more progressive territory.

Aside from his work with the band, Pinder also made a name for himself as an advocate of technology, particularly for his pioneering work with the Mellotron (via Louder).

He also had a solo career, which launched with his debut album ‘The Promise’ in 1976, followed by 1994’s ‘Among The Stars’ and 1995’s ‘A Planet With One Mind’. He moved to California in the mid-‘70s, while Moody Blues were on a hiatus, and was replaced by former Yes keyboardist Patrick Moraz when they reformed in 1977.

More recently, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of The Moody Blues in 2018, although was the only member of the band who did not give a speech while on stage.

Speaking about the event afterwards, he said (via Louder): “Many MB fans have asked why I did not speak at the induction but by the time the Moodies took the stage we were 5 hours into the ceremony. The oldest of the inductees were up the latest.

“The speeches were a bit anticlimactic at that point and it was only fitting that the current touring members (Edge, Hayward and Lodge) spoke first. I am happy that we finally got inducted for our fans’ sake. As I have said for the last 30 years ‘the fans are my hall of fame’.”