Renowned guitar virtuoso Jeff Beck has died. He was 78. The news of the eight-time Grammy-winning guitarist's death was shared by his family, who confirmed that he passed away yesterday (January 10th) after a short battle with bacterial meningitis.
"On behalf of his family, it is with deep and profound sadness that we share the news of Jeff Beck's passing," said a statement posted on Beck's social media. "After suddenly contracting bacterial meningitis, he peacefully passed away yesterday. His family ask for privacy while they process this tremendous loss."
Beck rose to prominence in the mid-1960s as a member of the Yardbirds, replacing Eric Clapton in the group in 1965 and recording several massive hits with the band including "Heart Full of Soul", "Evil Hearted You"/"Still I'm Sad" and "Shapes of Things."
After departing the group in 1966, he went on to form the Jeff Beck Group, who would become massively successful in the late 60s and early 70s, thrusting Beck into a lifelong career as a bandleader and soloist. Throughout his tenure, he released 17 studio albums, earned eight Grammys and collaborated with everyone from Stevie Wonder and Mick Jagger to ZZ Top and, most recently, Ozzy Osbourne, on his 2022 album, Patient No. 9.
Ranked the fifth greatest guitar player of all time by Rolling Stone, Beck will be remembered as a prestigious player known for his artful shredding and commanding playstyle. In a tribute posted to Twitter, Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi wrote that Beck was an "outstanding iconic, genius guitar player" and that his "playing was very special and distinctively brilliant."
Below, see the statement confirming Beck's death, as well as tributes from Iommi and KISS' Paul Stanley.
On behalf of his family, it is with deep and profound sadness that we share the news of Jeff Beck’s passing. After suddenly contracting bacterial meningitis, he peacefully passed away yesterday. His family ask for privacy while they process this tremendous loss. pic.twitter.com/4dvt5aGzlv— Jeff Beck (@jeffbeckmusic) January 11, 2023
I was totally shocked to hear the very sad news of Jeff Beck’s passing. Jeff was such a nice person and an outstanding iconic, genius guitar player - there will never be another Jeff Beck. His playing was very special & distinctively brilliant! He will be missed. RIP Jeff -Tony pic.twitter.com/0mn2gtTj5Z— Tony Iommi (@tonyiommi) January 11, 2023