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The Doors Keyboardist Ray Manzarek Dies

Ray Manzarek of the Doors
Chris Walter, Getty Images

Ray Manzarek, founding member and keyboardist for the Doors, died today (May 20) at age 74 after a long battle with bile duct cancer.

“I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of my friend and bandmate Ray Manzarek today,” said Doors guitarist Robby Krieger. “I’m just glad to have been able to have played Doors songs with him for the last decade. Ray was a huge part of my life and I will always miss him.”

Singer Jim Morrison commanded the lion’s share of attention, but Manzarek’s contributions to the Doors cannot be understated. As our list of the Top 10 Ray Manzarek Doors Songs demonstrates, it was his jazz and classical music-influenced keyboard playing that helped the band create a unique sound. This was further enhanced by the fact that he was often also filling in the low end for the group, who rarely used a bass player.

Manzarek is survived by his wife Dorothy and brothers Rick and James Manczarek — all of whom were with him at the time of his passing — as well as son Pablo Manzarek, Pablo’s wife Sharmin and their three children Noah, Apollo and Camille. His family has requested that anyone interested in sending flowers instead make a donation in Manzarek’s name at www.standup2cancer.org.

Next: See Other Rockers We've Lost in 2013

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