Y&T rocker PHIL KENNEMORE has died at the age of 57 after losing his battle with lung cancer.
The bassist passed away in the early hours of Friday morning (07Jan11) at Stanford Hospital in California.
The sad news was confirmed by Kennemore's Y&T bandmate Dave Meniketti, who paid tribute to his longtime pal in a post on the group's website.
He writes, "It is with profound sadness and disbelief that I tell you that my best buddy for 37 years passed away this morning... Bravely and steadfastly battling the horrible spectacle of lung cancer, at the end he was surrounded by his family members, and the Y&T family up until his final breath...
"He had an amazingly strong life force that has influenced everyone who ever had the opportunity to be called a friend of his. I am forever grateful for our lifelong friendship... I will miss his sense of humour, his amazing wit, but most of all I will always miss not seeing him to my left on the stages I will play from this moment forward."
Kennemore rose to fame with the band, originally known as Yesterday and Today, in the 1970s, enjoying numerous hits and selling more than four million records worldwide before the group parted ways in 1991.
Kennemore and Meniketti reformed the band in 1995 and played sporadically before an official reunion in 2001. The band released its 12th studio album, Facemelter, in May 2010. The record marked their first studio album in 13 years.
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.