Gary Brooker, lead singer and pianist of Procol Harum, dies at 76

Gary Brooker of Procol Harum performs at O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire on May 13, 2017 in London
(Image credit: Burak Cingi/Redferns)

Gary Brooker, the lead singer and pianist for the legendary British band Procol Harum, has died at the age of 76, the band announced today. Brooker had been receiving treatment for cancer, but, Procol Harum said, died peacefully at his home.

Born in East London in 1945, Brooker co-founded Procol Harum in 1967 with lyricist Keith Reid, organist Matthew Fisher, guitarist Ray Royer and bassist David Knights. The nascent group found immediate success with their Brooker/Reid/Fisher-penned debut single, A Whiter Shade of Pale.

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Jackson Maxwell

Jackson is an Associate Editor at He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.