The progressive rock legend's body was found at his home in Santa Monica, California by his partner Mari Kawaguchi last Thursday (10Mar16). His death was reportedly caused by a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

"To all ELP friends and fans all over the world, I would like to express my deep sadness upon hearing this tragic news," Lake said in a statement. "As you know Keith and I spent many of the best years of our lives together and to witness his life coming to an end in the way that it has is painful, both to myself and to all who knew him.

"As sad and tragic as Keith’s death is, I would not want this to be the lasting memory people take away with them. What I will always remember about Keith Emerson was his remarkable talent as a musician and composer and his gift and passion to entertain.

"Music was his life and despite some of the difficulties he encountered I am sure that the music he created will live on forever. My deepest condolences go to Keith’s family. May he now be at peace."

Kawaguchi fears that the keyboardist may have taken his own life due to his belief an injury to his right arm would mean he'd let fans down with below par performances on an upcoming tour to Japan.

"He had an operation a few years ago to take out a bad muscle but the pain and nerve issues in his right hand were getting worse," she told Britain's Daily Mail newspaper.

"He didn't want to let down his fans. He was a perfectionist and the thought he wouldn't play perfectly made him depressed, nervous and anxious."

Emerson and Lake's other bandmate Carl Palmer has also paid tribute to the late rocker, writing on his website,"Keith was a gentle soul whose love for music and passion for his performance as a keyboard player will remain unmatched for many years to come. He was a pioneer and an innovator whose musical genius touched all of us in the worlds of rock, classical and jazz.

"I will always remember his warm smile, good sense of humour, compelling showmanship, and dedication to his musical craft. I am very lucky to have known him and to have made the music we did, together. Rest in peace, Keith."

1970s progressive rock contemporaries Rick Wakeman, John Wetton and Geoffrey Downes have also shared their sadness, as have other major names from the music world including, Queen guitarist Brian May, Black Sabbath star Geezer Butler and Peter Frampton.