Bernie Marsden has died at the age of 72, his family have confirmed.
The star was the original guitarist for the band Whitesnake.
Bernie’s family wrote in a statement shared on Instagram that the musician “died peacefully on Thursday evening with his wife, Fran, and daughters, Charlotte and Olivia, by his side”.
They emotionally added that Bernie “never lost his passion for music, writing and recording new songs until the end”.
The full statement read: “It is with deep sadness we announce the death of Bernie Marsden.
“Bernie died peacefully on Thursday evening with his wife, Fran, and daughters, Charlotte & Olivia, by his side.
“Bernie never lost his passion for music, writing and recording until the end.”
The star performed with the British rock group in the 1970s and 80s.
He co-founded the band with David Coverdale and co-wrote some of their biggest hits, including Here I Go Again and Fool For Your Loving.
Whitesnake lead vocalist Coverdale paid tribute to the guitarist, saying he had felt “honoured” to share the stage with him.
He wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter: “Good Morning…I’ve just woken up to the awful news that my old friend & former Snake Bernie Marsden has passed.
“My sincere thoughts & prayers to his beloved family, friends & fans.
“A genuinely funny, gifted man, whom I was honored to know & share a stage with. RIP, Bernie.”
Bernie was born in Buckingham and began pursuing his passion for music as a teenager.
He turned his passion into a career with band UFO in 1972.
After leaving Whitesnake in 1981, Marsden went on to form Alaska, recording two albums in the 1980s, before briefly forming MGM with Neil Murray and Mel Galley.
In 2011, the star reunited with Whitesnake for the first time since 1981 at the Sweden Rock Festival, where he became the only original member of the band to play with a later line-up.