Gerard Smith of TV on the Radio passes at 36
Stephon Johnson | 5/25/2011, 9:24 a.m.
Over a month ago, when it was announced that TV on the Radio's Gerard Smith had lung cancer, many in the music world were shocked. Last week, when he lost his battle with lung cancer at the age of 36, many were left grieving.
"We are very sad to announce the death of our beloved friend and bandmate, Gerard Smith, following a courageous fight against lung cancer," read a statement on the band's website. "Gerard passed away the morning of April 20, 2011. We will miss him terribly."
The band learned about Smith's cancer just as they were wrapping up recording sessions for their latest album, "Nine Types of Light," which was released two weeks ago to great reviews in the independent and mainstream music press.
Smith joined TV on the Radio in 2005, after the band had developed some underground buzz with their "Young Liars" EP and their debut album "Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes." He contributed to the band's 2006 effort "Return to Cookie Mountain" (an album that many critics say is the band's best) and 2008's "Dear Science" along with the new "Nine Types of Light."
The band was initially going to tour to promote "Light" without Smith while he fought the illness at home. After his death, upcoming shows in Minneapolis, Detroit, Chicago and Denver were cancelled, and there haven't been any further announcements about how the tour will proceed in other cities. Their next scheduled tour date is April 29 in San Francisco.
Multi-instrumentalist Jaleel Bunton filled for Smith on the bass during a recent show at Radio City Music Hall, while Jahphet Landis sat in on the drums.
Fans have flocked to the band's website and Facebook page to share their grief and condolences for the band's loss. "I'm saddened by your loss and will miss the unique signature Gerard put on your music," read one comment. "Congratulations on another spectacular album and wishing you happiness and peace in the days to come." "Your loss is our loss as well," read another.
Attempts to contact the band for further comments were unsuccessful as of press time.