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Walter Becker
Guitarist Walter Becker of the band Steely Dan performs at 'Collaborating for a Cure' the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation Benefit Concert on Thursday, Nov. 20, 2008 in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini)

Steely Dan guitarist Walter Becker has died at the age of 67


Walter Becker, a guitarist, bassist and co-founder of the band Steely Dan died Sunday at the age of 67.

Becker's official website confirmed the news on Sunday without disclosing the cause of his death.

Becker missed Steely Dan's Classic East and West concerts earlier this year due to an unspecified health issue.

"Walter's recovering from a procedure and hopefully he'll be fine very soon," Becker's band mate Donald Fagen told Billboard.

Becker and his band gained and maintained popularity with hit singles like “Dirty Work,” “Reelin’ in the Years,” and “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number," among others. The band, which got its start in the early 70s, split in 1981 due to a variety of reasons, including addiction issues, the overdose death of Fagen’s girlfriend Karen Stanley and a wrongful death lawsuit.

After the split, Becker moved to Hawaii and quit drugs, before embarking on a solo career as a record producer. The band eventually got back together in 1993 and released their comeback album in 2000.


Becker and Fagen were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001 and received honorary Doctor of Music degrees from Berklee College of Music.

Fagenn wrote a tribute to Becker on Sunday. according to the Rolling Stone. Fagen said that Becker had a "very rough childhood," and described his longtime collaborator as "smart as a whip, an excellent guitarist and a great songwriter."

"He was cynical about human nature, including his own, and hysterically funny," Fagen wrote, according to Rolling Stone. "Like a lot of kids from fractured families, he had the knack of creative mimicry, reading people's hidden psychology and transforming what he saw into bubbly, incisive art."

WENN contributed to this report.

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