Bill Wyman: Former Rolling Stones Bassist Diagnosed with Cancer

(Image: © Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

More sad news from the world of classic rock.

Former Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman, 79, has been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

According to a Wyman spokesman, "He is undergoing treatment and is expected to make a full recovery as it was caught in the early stages."

In a statement, his family asked "for their privacy during this time."

Wyman was a Rolling Stone from 1962 to 1993. Since then, he's performed and recorded with his own band, Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings.

When Wyman joined the band, replacing Dick Taylor, he was 25, by far the oldest member of the group. Still, he and drummer Charlie Watts formed a strong bond—not to mention a powerul and legendary rhythm section.

"Playing with the Stones, there was always such a lot of pressure," Wyman told the Telegraph in 2008. "The next album or single always had to be the best, or at least sell more.

"When we got together to play it was a great moment. Working with Charlie was fantastic, and we're still really close. But when I toured with the Stones it would take a month to practice all these songs we'd been playing for 30 years."

"I left the Stones because their music really annoyed me, so why should I go listen to their music?" he told the German newspaper Bild in 1998. "When you're a Rolling Stone, you do nothing but Stones music. My life is more exciting since I'm not one."

Wyman also is remembered for his 1980s marriage to 18-year-old model Mandy Smith. Wyman was 52 at the time.

Stay tuned for updates on this story—and watch a 2012 Stones reunion featuring Wyman on bass: