Mike "Taffy" Taylor, the singer best known for his status as the founding vocalist for veteran British heavy metal band Quartz, has died.

Taylor's former bandmates shared the news of his death with fans, writing, "It is with heavy hearts, much sadness, sorrow and regret that we announce the passing of our very dear friend and original founder band member Mike ‘Taffy’ Taylor. Our thoughts and deepest sympathies and condolences go out to his family and to all who were lucky enough to have met and known him. LEGEND."

A cause of death has not been made public, but the band subsequently shared a video they'd previously uploaded in 2012, writing "R.I.P. Taffy" with the new post.

Taylor co-founded Quartz, first known as Bandy Legs, in the early '70s alongside guitarist Mick Hopkins, bassist Derek Arnold and drummer Malcolm Cope. After changing their name, they signed with Jet Records for their self-titled 1977 debut, which was produced by Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi. In spite of Iommi's assistance — and high-profile friends such as Brian May and Ozzy Osbourne, both of whom contributed to the Quartz B-side "Circles" — the band's busy touring schedule never translated to the level of sales they or their label hoped to achieve.

The original Quartz lineup lasted for another album, 1980's Stand Up and Fight, before Taylor departed to found Taffy Taylor's Big Roll Band. After drafting Geoff Bate to replace Taylor for 1983's Against All Odds, the group split, with guitarist Geoff Nicholls moving on to serve a long tenure with Black Sabbath. Quartz reunited without Taylor in 2011, adding new singer David Garner, and have completed two albums — 2015's Too Hot to Handle and the upcoming Fear No Evil — since getting back together.

Rockers We’ve Lost in 2016