British jazz pianist SIR GEORGE SHEARING has died at the age of 91.
The blind musician passed away on Monday (14Feb11) after suffering from congestive heart failure.
The artist launched his career in the 1940s and fast established a name for himself as the frontman of The George Shearing Quintet. The band scored its first big hit in 1949 with September in the Rain, but Shearing will perhaps be best remembered for composing jazz standard Lullaby of Birdland in 1952 and performing with crooner Nat King Cole.
He continued performing into old age, but his career began to tail off in 2004 after an accident in his New York home.
A favourite of The Queen's, London-born Shearing became an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for his services to music and Anglo-US relations in 1996. He was knighted in 2007.
The Grammy Award winner also received Britain's Ivor Novello Award for Lifetime Achievement and the first American Music Award by the National Arts Club in New York City.
Shearing also features in Jack Kerouac's epic novel On the Road - characters in the story attend one of his concerts.