by / September 16th, 2008 /

R.I.P: Pink Floyd founder Richard Wright

Richard Wright, a founder member of Pink Floyd, has died at the age of 65 after battling cancer.

Wright played the keyboard with the legendary band and wrote music in classic albums such as Dark Side Of The Moon and Wish You Were Here.

His spokesman said: “The family of Richard Wright, founder member of Pink Floyd, announce with great sadness, that Richard died … after a short struggle with cancer. The family have asked that their privacy is respected at this difficult time.”

Wright’s spokesman did not say from what form of cancer the star had been suffering.

The self-taught keyboardist and pianist met fellow band members Roger Waters and Nick Mason while at architecture school. He was a founder member of The Pink Floyd Sound in 1965, and the group’s previous incarnations, such as Sigma 6.

In the early days of Pink Floyd, Wright, along with Syd Barrett, was seen as the group’s dominant musical force. The London-born musician and son of a biochemist wrote and sang several songs of his own.

‘The Great Gig In The Sky’, and ‘Us And Them’, both from 1973’s seminal Dark Side Of The Moon album, were his most well-known compositions. He also made essential contributions to Atom Heart Mother, Echoes and Shine On You Crazy Diamond, the tribute to former band member Barrett.

After his relationship with Waters became increasingly difficult, he left Floyd following sessions for the album The Wall. Wright was retained as a salaried session musician during live concerts in 1980 and 1981. In 1983, Pink Floyd released the only album in which Wright does not appear – The Final Cut.

Wright played with the surviving members of Pink Floyd in 2005 at Live 8. He also performed at a tribute concert to Barrett last year, but Waters and Gilmour, who famously fell out more than 25 years ago, appeared separately. Wright had performed on every Pink Floyd tour.

He officially rejoined Pink Floyd following the departure of Waters and contributed vocals and keyboards to the 1987 album A Momentary Lapse of Reason. In 1994, he co-wrote five songs on The Division Bell album, singing lead vocals on the track Wearing ‘The Inside Out’.