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The Wallflowers' guitarist Michael Ward dies aged 57 just days before next performance

Former guitarist for The Wallflowers Michael Ward has sadly died at the age of 57, just days before he was set to take to the stage in Las Vegas.

His death was confirmed by the band on Facebook as they remembered his "crucial part of the band's history" and vowed his talents will always be remembered. Michael's cause of death is yet to be revealed.

In a loving tribute shared on Wednesday, The Wallflowers wrote: "With love and gratitude the Wallflowers say farewell to the great and singular Michael Ward. Michael’s role and talents will forever remain a crucial part of the band’s history.

"His contributions to music began before his time with the Wallflowers and continued long after his time with the band. Listening to Thin Lizzy on a sorrowful day. Rest now Mike. Much love to his family and his two children."

Michael's band Gogol Bordello also shared two lengthy tributes on Instagram. "This is beyond sad and heavy for those of us who had a special bond with Mike," the tribute began.

It continued: "He came to share & champion our keen understanding of whats it really all about: camaraderie n good laughters that we get to take with us at the end. He treasured cellular memory of that cathartic cameraderie like we did and was boldly sentimental about it while being absolutly cold blooded killer as a player: be it Cro-magnonian riffs , progy shredding or steady accoustic guitar finess Mike had it covered." 

The Wallflowers© 2014 NBCUniversal Media, LLC

In a follow-up post, they added: "So this is beyond sad and heavy for all of us who had a special bond with Mike. Cause he was exactly the kind of a guy who knew a thing or two about a special bond, like for years wearing on stage strictly a t-shirt of Norwegian metallists @Kvelertak which he and his son Tennessee agreed upon as their favorite band." Gogol Bordello finished: "Sail on sweet brother man , a true sailor philosopher and doer that left us with a lot of good loughs distilled out of broken heart."

Michael played on The Wallflowers' two most successful albums - 1996's Bringing Down the Horse and 2000's Breach. He was nominated for five Grammy Awards throughout his career and in 1998 took home the award for best rock performance by a duo/group with vocal for The Wallflowers' hit One Headlight.

Michael was also a founding member of the early 1990s alternative rock band School of Fish. In more recent years, Michael kept busy by performing, teaching online guitar classes and doing studio sessions. Michael was even slated to perform in Las Vegas on Friday, April 5. The musician is survived by his 24-year-old son Tennessee Ward and 10-year-old son Odin Von Ward. 

Story by Scarlett O'Toole: The Mirror:  

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