(CelebrityAccess) — Toby Smith, founding member of the acid funk band Jamiroquai has died at the age of 46.
Jamiroquai front man Jay Kay announced Smith's death on the group's Facebook page, stating that he had been battling an undisclosed illness.
"Yesterday, I found out the news I was hoping, and truly believed, would never happen, that my dear friend Toby, had passed away. My heart hangs so heavy with grief and pain, that I have found it difficult to write anything about this up to now. The recent success of the new album has paled into complete and utter insignificance to me on hearing this terrible news.
"Toby had fought this voracious illness with his own indefatigable and stubborn brand of spirit and courage for a very long time, and until fairly recently, had shown all the signs of beating it, only for it to take him away so cruelly from his wife, his children, his relations and his many friends," Kay wrote.
Smith, along with Kay, Stuart Zender, Nick Van Gelder and Wallis Buchanan formed the band in 1992. Smith recorded with the band for their first five albums and had co-writing credits on some of their biggest hits such as "Virtual Insanity," "Space Cowboy" and "Deeper Underground."
He left the group in 2002 and established a home recording studio as well as managing the careers of several UK-based artists, Jamiroquai fan site Funkin' said.
"The most talented musician I have ever had the honor to make music with. There will never be another like you Toby. Your light will shine on eternally. Thank you for making mine and everyone's life so bright. I celebrate your love and life," his former bandmate Stuart Zender wrote. – Staff Writers