Chris Squire, bassist for progressive rock band Yes, dies at 67

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Chris Squire, the bassist and co-founder of Yes, died Saturday, June 27, 2015, according to the band. He was 67. | AP file photo

NEW YORK — Chris Squire, the bassist and co-founder of the progressive rock band Yes who recently announced he had leukemia, has died, according to a statement from his band members on Sunday. He was 67.

The band posted a statement on its Facebook page saying Squire “peacefully passed away” Saturday in Phoenix, where he lived. No further details about the death were provided.

Squire announced last month that he had acute erythroid leukemia, a rare form of acute myeloid leukemia. He was receiving treatment before he died.

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“It’s with the heaviest of hearts and unbearable sadness that we must inform you of the passing of our dear friend and Yes co-founder, Chris Squire,” said the statement from Alan White, Steve Howe, Jon Davison and Geoff Downes.

“For the entirety of Yes’ existence, Chris was the band’s linchpin and, in so many ways, the glue that held it together over all these years,” the band’s statement continued. “Because of his phenomenal bass-playing prowess, Chris influenced countless bassists around the world, including many of today’s well-known artists.”

Squire was born on March 4, 1948, in London. He was the only member to play on all of Yes’ albums, and he co-founded the band with its former lead singer, Jon Anderson. The group released its self-titled debut album in 1969.

In a statement posted Sunday on his website, Anderson said he and Squire were “musical brothers.”

“I feel blessed to have created some wonderful, adventurous, music with him. Chris had such a great sense of humor . . . he always said he was Darth Vader to my Obiwan. I always thought of him as Christopher Robin to my Winnie the Pooh,” he wrote.

Anderson added that he was thankful he recently connected with Squire: “I saw him in my meditation last night, and he was radiant.”

Squire, a talented and dominant bass guitarist, was one of the leaders of progressive rock in the 1970s. His website says he was a choirboy in his youth, which set the foundation for his musical talents.

He released his solo debut, “Fish Out of Water,” in 1975, and also played in the short-lived supergroup XYZ (eX-Yes-Zeppelin), which included Jimmy Page.

Yes released the album “Heaven & Earth” last year. The Grammy-winning band’s hits include “Roundabout” and “Owner of a Lonely Heart,” which became a No. 1 hit on the Billboard pop charts in the 1980s. The group will launch a U.S. tour with Toto in August, when Billy Sherwood will fill in for Squire.

Squire is survived by his wife, Scotland, and several children.

BY MESFIN FEKADU, AP Music Writer

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