Toby Smith, the co-founder and keyboardist in Jamiroquai, had died aged 46.
The musician was one of the original members of the funk and acid jazz band, famous for hits including ‘Deeper Underground’, ‘Canned Heat’ and ‘Cosmic Girl’.
Toby passed away on Wednesday (12 April), with his former bandmates since paying tribute on social media.
Lead singer Jay Kay posted an emotional message on Facebook, saying his “heart hangs so heavy with grief and pain”.
“I have found it difficult to write anything about this up to now,” he said. “The recent success of the new album has paled into complete and utter insignificance to me on hearing this terrible news.
“Toby had fought this voracious illness with his own indefatigable and stubborn brand of spirit and courage for a very long time, and until fairly recently, had shown all the signs of beating it, only for it to take him away so cruelly from his wife, his children, his relations and his many friends.”
He added: “I want to remember Toby as the guy who struck me with his magic the first time I heard him play in my small bedsit in 1992, the guy who made laugh and cry in equal measure as we wrote the songs you all sing.
“The guy who would entertain us all on our most arduous tours with his obtuse sense of humour, and the guy who would crack me up with his quirky sense of style and his unique and candid views on people, life and love.”
Bassist Stuart Zender also wrote on Instagram: “I love you so much. My big brother Toby crossed over to the other side last night.
“All my fondest memories are of him and the band that we created. The most talented musician I have ever had the honor to make music with.
“There will never be another like you Toby. Your light will shine on eternally. Thank you for making mine and everyone’s life so bright.”
Toby was a member of the band for 10 years, until he quit in 2002 due to family commitments.
The group recently launched a comeback, releasing their eighth studio album, ‘Automation’, in March.