Nik Green, former keyboardist of heavy metal act Blue Murder (featured second from the left), passed away yesterday on March 13 after battling cancer. The news came from the band's former bassist Tony Franklin, who called the player "A Gentle soul and huge talent."

Green was the only musician to play keyboards for Blue Murder, the group formed by Whitesnake guitarist John Sykes and ex-Black Sabbath singer Ray Gillen. Gillen would be replaced by Sykes himself as he pulled double duty. With the roaring, '80s enthused guitar screeching, the blues element was given a then modern twist with the atmospheric and a pointed synth work. He contributed to all three of Blue Murder's albums, the 1989 eponymous debut (with Tony Franklin on fretless bass) and Nothin' But Trouble (with Marco Mendoza of Dead Daisies and Thin Lizzy) in 1993 as well as the live album Screaming Blue Murder: Dedicated to Phil Lynott.

Tony Franklin sent out these two tweets, breaking the news and sharing a photo and a memory with his bandmate and friend:

The keyboard player formed the Away Team with Penny 'Little Savage' of White Feather in 1994 and completed a 7,200 mile tour of the U.S. in 2008, hitting eight cities in all brining guest musicians onstage throughout the trek.

Loudwire extends its deepest sympathies to Nik Green's friends, family and bandmates.

Blue Murder, "Valley of the Kings"

Blue Murder, "Blue Murder"