Keith Reid dead: Procol Harum’s A Whiter Shade of Pale lyricist dies aged 76

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Keith Reid, a founding member of Procol Harum, has died aged 76.

Keith Reid, a founding member of Procol Harum who co-wrote the timeless classic A Whiter Shade of Pale, has died aged 76. His death was confirmed on Procol Harum’s official Facebook page on Wednesday night (March 29).

Reid, who was born in Hertfordshire, never played with Procol Harum but was crucial to their success, composing all of their lyrics until 2017. Among his other hits was soft rock ballad You’re The Voice sung by John Farnham, which became a worldwide hit in 1986.

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The band said: “We are sad to hear of the death of Keith Reid. An unparalleled lyricist, Keith wrote the words to virtually all Procol Harum songs, as well as co-writing the John Farnham hit You’re The Voice.

“His lyrics were one of a kind and helped to shape the music created by the band. His imaginative, surreal and multi-layered words were a joy to Procol fans and their complexity by design was a powerful addition to the Procol Harum catalogue. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends.”

Tributes have since poured in for Reid from his friends and celebrities who described his death as a huge loss to the music industry. American comedian Richard Lewis tweeted: “I just heard the news today, oh boy. The humble genius, Keith Reid, my pal, has passed.

“The lyricist for Procol Harum has joined his musical partner, the late Gary Brooker. My heart breaks for his lifelong love, Pinkey. I worshipped your imagination and loved you.”

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UK’s Official Charts also paid tribute to the icon. A spokesperson said: “Keith, the legendary lyricist behind Procol Harum’s timeless classic A Whiter Shade of Pale, has died aged 76. Our thoughts are with Keith’s family, friends and fans at this time.”

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