Elvis Presley's last surviving band member D.J. Fontana has died at the age of 87.
Elvis Presley's drummer D.J. Fontana has died.
The 87-year-old musician - whose full name was Dominic Joseph Fontana - was the last surviving member of the late King of Rock and Roll's band, and had featured on the music legend's greatest hits including, 'Hound Dog', 'Jailhouse Rock' and 'Heartbreak Hotel'.
His son, David Fontana, announced the sad news in an emotional Facebook post, in which he shared that his parent passed away peacefully in his sleep, whilst asking for people to respect the family's privacy at this difficult time.
He wrote: ''I told everyone that I would keep you posted. My Dad passed away in his sleep at 9:33 tonight.
''He was very comfortable with no pain. I will post more tomorrow when I have more information. We ask for privacy at this time. Thank you for your love and prayers.''
Sun Studio, in Memphis, Tennessee - where Elvis recorded throughout the mid-to-late 1950s - added to their Facebook page: ''We are extremely saddened to hear about the passing of legendary drummer D.J. Fontana. The band is all back together now. [sic]''
In October 1954, Fontana was hired to play drums for Presley, and that marked the beginning of a 15-year relationship.
The drummer performed and made several TV appearances with the 'Suspicious Minds' hitmaker, including 'The Ed Sullivan Show' through 1956 and 1957.
Fontana joined a band consisting of Scotty Moore (lead guitar), Bill Black (bass) and Elvis Presley (rhythm guitar), calling themselves The Blue Moon Boys in 1954.
This became the band that would perform and record the vast majority of Presley's hits of the 1950s.
The band split in 1958, but the pair continued to play and record together regularly throughout the 1960s.
In April 2009, Fontana was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.
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