Hawkwind vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Nik Turner has died. He was 82 years old. The news was confirmed in a post on his Facebook. One of the earliest psychedelic space-rock groups, Hawkwind was notably Lemmy Kilmister's band before he was kicked out in 1975 (for doing "the wrong drugs," as he famously put it) and formed Motörhead.
"We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Nik Turner - The Might Thunder Rider, who passed away peacefully at home on Thursday evening," the statement on Turner's social account reads. "He has moved onto the next phase of his Cosmic Journey, guided by the love of his family, friends and fans. Watch this space for his arrangements."
The Motörhead account tweeted, "We lost Lemmy's old bandmate Nik Turner today. Play some Hawkwind nice and loud!"
Turner started out as a roadie for Hawkwind when they formed in 1969, before officially joining the band later that year as a saxophonist, flutist and vocalist. He remained with them until 1976, parting ways shortly after Kilmister left the group, and rejoined between 1982 and 1984. After his initial departure, he formed his own band Nik Turner's Sphynx with members of Gong and Hawkwind, followed shortly by the formation of another group, Inner City Unit. He later formed Nik Turner's Fantastic All Stars in the late 1980s, and led the Hawkwind offshoot band Space Ritual in the 2000s and Nik Turner's Hawkwind after that. He's also collaborated over the years with a number of other musicians, including Sting, Psychic TV, Sham 69, Mother Gong, and more.