Atlanta Rhythm Section bassist Paul Goddard has died at the age of 68.

Goddard passed away after a battle with cancer on Tuesday (29Apr14) in Atlanta, the band's manager Len Fico confirms to The Hollywood Reporter.

The band's vocalist Rodney Justo paid tribute to his bandmate, saying, "I knew Paul when he was a guitarist, and maybe that's why his bass playing was so musical. And to go with that musicality was a unique sound that made him so identifiable to fans and other musicians as well. Yes, at one time he was 'that big fat guy that played bass,' but once he started playing, he wasn't fat. He was a giant."

In a post on their page the band writes, "We are saddened by the passing of our bass player and dear friend the legendary Paul Goddard...Rest in peace P.G."

Goddard helped form the southern rock band in 1970 with a group of session musicians, and the group went on to amass a strong following in America's southern states and once performed for U.S. President Jimmy Carter, although they never attained the commercial success of contemporaries such as Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Allman Brothers.

Goddard retired from touring in the mid-1980s, but returned to the band in 2011 with original vocalist Justo, who left the band in 1972.