Veteran violinist VASSAR CLEMENTS has died of lung cancer at the age of 77.

The American musician - who boasts performances on over 2,000 albums - passed away at his Tennessee home on Tuesday (16AUG05).

Highly-regarded as a studio musician, his long career included recordings for Sir Paul McCartney, Emmylou Harris, Johnny Cash, The Byrds and The Monkees.

Clements also appeared in director Robert Altman's Oscar-winning 1975 film NASHVILLE.

He scooped a Grammy Award earlier this year (05) for his work with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.