Monkees stars ‘heartbroken’ over death of bandmate Peter Tork

Stars of The Monkees have told of their heartbreak following the news of bandmate Peter Tork's death.

Tork was best known as the keyboardist and bassist in the popular American TV pop quartet, which achieved widespread fame in the 1960s and had hits including I'm A Believer and Daydream Believer.

The American musician and actor "passed peacefully" at the age of 77, a post on The Monkees' official Twitter page said.

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Peter Tork and The Monkees
JANUARY 19TH : On this day in 1967 The Monkees were at number one in the charts with 'I'm a Believer'. Library file of pop group The Monkees (l-r) Davy Jones, Peter Tork, Mike Nesmith and Micky Dolenz. The Monkees met in London today for the first time in 30 years to discuss their U.K tour in March. 14/09/03: Daydream Believer by The Monkees is Britain's top karaoke tune, according to a new survey. The singalong hit is the number one choice for would-be Pop Idols across the country. My Way by Frank Sinatra came second followed by the ladies' favourite, I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor. The survey asked 1,000 people to name their favourite karaoke song. The poll was commissioned by the Hungry Horse pub chain to launch its new Karaoke Krazy competition.
The Monkees. (l-r) Peter Tork, Michael Nesmith, Davy Jones and Micky Dolenz
The Monkees (l-r) Davy Jones, Peter Tork, Mike Nesmith and Micky Dolenz. The Monkees pictured during a press reception for the American band at the Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington, London. The band are playing Wembley for 3 nights.
The pop band The Monkees pose for a photocall for their tour of the UK. L-R Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork, Davy Jones
Top to bottom; Peter Tork, Davy Jones and Micky Dolenz, three of the stars of American pop band The Monkees, recently reformed and about to tour Britain, in London to record a show for Aspel and Company to be screened on ITV.
The Monkees (clockwise from left) Micky Dolenz, Mike Nesmith, Peter Tork and Davy Jones, arrive in London today (Friday) to launch their first UK tour in 30 years. The legendary sixties band will be hitting the road on March 7, promoting a new album, 'Justus', released on January 27. Photo by Fiona Hanson/PA
(Left - right) Peter Tork, Micky Dolenz and Davy Jones of the Monkees attend a photocall at the O2 Apollo, Manchester, ahead of their UK tour.
Peter Tork of The Monkees performs during the Mid Summers Night Tour at the Mizner Park Amphitheater on Saturday, July 27, 2013 in Boca Raton, Florida (Photo by Jeff Daly/Invision/AP)
Peter Tork of The Monkees performs during the Mid Summers Night Tour at the Mizner Park Amphitheater on Saturday, July 27, 2013 in Boca Raton, Florida (Photo by Jeff Daly/Invision/AP)
The Monkees: (l-r) Davy Jones, Mike Nesmith, Mickey Dolenz and Peter Tork, B&W photo
Peter Tork headshot, as The Monkees singer, B&W photo on black
Los Monkees, de izquierda a derecha, Peter Tork, Mike Nesmith, David Jones y Micky Dolenz en una conferencia de prensa en el hotel Warwick en Nueva York en una fotografía de archivo del 6 de julio de 1967. Los Monkees tendrán sus primeros conciertos tras la muerte de Davy Jones ocurrida en febrero. Nesmith, Dolenz y Tork anunciaron el miércoles 8 de agosto de 2012 que su gira de 12 fechas por Estados Unidos comienza en noviembre. (Foto AP/Ray Howard, archivo)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - OCTOBER 28: Peter Tork of The Monkees performs in concert at Harrah's Resort on October 28, 2016 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Donald Kravitz/Getty Images)
AUGUSTA, GA - JULY 24: (L-R) Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork of The Monkees perform at Bell Auditorium on July 24, 2016 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Chris McKay/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - MAY 16: Peter Tork of The Monkees speaks during SiriusXM's 'Town Hall' with The Monkees at SiriusXM Studios on May 16, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 01: Musician Peter Tork visits the SiriusXM Studios on May 1, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - JUNE 03: Peter Tork and Davy Jones of The Monkees open their U.S. tour at Chastain Park Amphitheater on June 3, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Chris McKay/WireImage)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 14: (L-R) Peter Tork, Micky Dolenz and Davy Jones of The Monkees pose for a press call before performing at 02 Apollo Manchester on May 14, 2011 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Shirlaine Forrest/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 21: Peter Tork of The Monkees pose during portrait session to announce the bands 45th anniversary tour held at The Groucho Club on February 21, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
THE MONKEES -- Pictured: (l-r) Michael Nesmith as Mike, Micky Dolenz as Micky, Davy Jones as Davy, Peter Tork as Peter (Photo by NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE MONKEES -- Pictured: (l-r) Davy Jones as Davy, Peter Tork as Peter (Photo by NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE MONKEES -- Pictured: (l-r) Micky Dolenz as Micky, Peter Tork as Peter (Photo by NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE MONKEES -- Pictured: (l-r) Davy Jones as Davy, Peter Tork as Peter, Micky Dolenz as Micky, Michael Nesmith as Mike (Photo by NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE MONKEES -- Pictured: (l-r) Peter Tork as Peter, Davy Jones as Davy, Micky Dolenz as Micky, Michael Nesmith as Mike (Photo by NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE MONKEES -- Pictured: (l-r) Micky Dolenz as Micky, Peter Tork as Peter, Michael Nesmith as Mike, Davy Jones as Davy (Photo by NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE MONKEES -- Pictured: (l-r) Pictured: (l-r) Peter Tork as Peter, Davy Jones as Davy, Micky Dolenz as Micky, Michael Nesmith as Mike (Photo by NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE MONKEES -- Pictured: (l-r) Michael Nesmith as Mike, Davy Jones as Davy, Micky Dolenz as Micky, Peter Tork as Peter (Photo by NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE MONKEES -- Pictured: (l-r) Peter Tork as Peter, Davy Jones as Davy, Mike Nesmith as Mike, Micky Dolenz as Micky (Photo by NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
THE MONKEES -- Pictured: (l-r) Micky Dolenz as Micky, Davy Jones as Davy, Peter Tork as Peter (Photo by NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
The Monkees Peter Tork 1967 (Photo by Chris Walter/WireImage)
Musician Peter Tork performing at 'The Monkees Concert on Access Hollywood' on July 7, 1997 at the Universal City Walk in Universal City Walk in Universal City, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Musician Peter Tork attending 'The Monkees Music Convention' on July 9, 1989 at the Sheraton Universal Hotel in Universal City, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
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Monkees members Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith paid tribute to their colleague, with Dolenz tweeting: "There are no words right now... heart broken over the loss of my Monkee brother, Peter Tork."

Nesmith wrote on Facebook: "Just got the news that Peter died. I am heartbroken."

Tork was hailed an "amazing soul" by those close to him as his death was announced on his official Facebook page.

A statement on the page said: "It is with beyond-heavy and broken hearts that we share the devastating news that our friend, mentor, teacher, and amazing soul, Peter Tork, has passed from this world.

"Please know that Peter was extremely appreciative of you, his Torkees, and one of his deepest joys was to be out in front of you, playing his music, and seeing you enjoy what he had to share.

"We send blessings and thoughts of comfort to you all, with much gratitude."

Tork's death comes seven years after The Monkees' British-born member Davy Jones died in 2012 at the age of 66.

Carole King, Graham Coxon and Brian Wilson were among the stars paying tribute to Tork on social media.

Singer King simply wrote "R.I.P. Peter Tork", while Blur guitarist Coxon said that Tork was his "favourite Monkee".

Beach Boys star Wilson tweeted: "I'm sad to hear about Peter Tork passing. I thought The Monkees were great and Peter will be missed.

"Love & mercy to Peter's family, friends and fans."

Songwriter Diane Warren tweeted: "Oh no RIP Peter Tork. Thank U for giving me your love beads (it was the 60s!) when I was a little girl."

Director and producer Edgar Wright lamented the fact he never got to meet Tork, tweeting: "RIP Peter Tork of The Monkees. Never got to meet the man."

Tork became part of the thriving folk scene in Greenwich village, before auditioning for a planned series about a fictitious pop four-piece.

The series became The Monkees, and Tork was the slightly goofy keyboard and bass player alongside Dolenz, Nesmith and Jones.

After their formation in 1966, the made-for-TV group had number one hits with I'm A Believer, Daydream Believer, and Last Train To Clarksville soon after they were established.

Following The Monkees, Tork worked in collaboration with several musicians including George Harrison, for whom he played banjo.

There followed an unsuccessful period with band Release, and a spell in prison for drugs possession.

He later took part in reunion tours with The Monkees.

He was diagnosed with cancer in 2009.

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