Wasserman, a bassist, composer and producer who worked with the stars including Lou Reed and the Grateful Dead's Bob Weir, passed away due to undisclosed health problems.

Weir, who formed the band RatDog with Wasserman, revealed his friend's death in an emotional post on Facebook.

"I'm devastated to pass along that Rob Wasserman lost his struggle today, and we have lost a beautiful friend and artist," he wrote. "I can still hear the sound of his bow playing those strings unamplified and pure.

"It's one of the most glorious sounds I've ever heard, and the music and warmth he gave us will live on in the hearts of everyone he touched."

Wasserman, a classically trained violinist who studied at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, California, moved into rock and embarked upon a career which in addition to his work with Weir and Reed, saw him record with major names including Elvis Costello, Bobby MCFerrin and Neil Young.

Weir also paid tribute to his friend and collaborator on Twitter, writing, "One of the world's most beautiful friends and artists has left us. May Rob's warmth and music live in your hearts as it always has in mine."

The bassist is survived by his wife Veronica, daughter Sara, sister Cindy and brother Bruce.