The legendary and incredibly influential Montrose founder Ronnie Montrose passed away on March 3 at the age of 64. The heavy metal innovator had numerous battles prostate cancer during his final years and committed suicide after beating the disease, only to have it return.

Ronnie Montrose lent his skills to the 1971 Van Morrison album 'Tupelo Honey' and was a member of the Edgar Winter Group before the inception of the band Montrose, which Ronnie formed with Sammy Hagar in the early '70s.

Soon after his passing, a heartfelt statement was posted on Ronnie Montrose's personal website. "He passed today. He’d battled cancer, and staved off old age for long enough. And true to form, he chose his own exit the way he chose his own life. We miss him already, but we’re glad to have shared with him while we could."