LONDON (AP) -- Kelly Groucutt, former bass player with 1970s rock hitmakers ELO, has died at age 63.
Groucutt's management said the musician died Thursday in Worcester, central England, after having a heart attack.
Formed in Birmingham, England, in 1971 by local musicians Jeff Lynne and Roy Wood, ELO — short for Electric Light Orchestra — combined rock 'n' roll with orchestral arrangements replete with string sections, choirs and symphonic sweep.
Groucutt joined ELO in 1974 after leaving his previous band, Sight and Sound. He played bass and sang during ELO's heyday as one of the world's biggest rock acts. ELO had a string of British and U.S. chart hits during the 1970s and early 1980s, including "Livin' Thing," "Mr. Blue Sky" and "Don't Bring Me Down."
Groucutt left the band in 1983 but later toured with several successor acts, including ELO Part II and The Orchestra.
He is survived by his wife Anna and four children.
"It is with great sadness that I have to inform the fans that Kelly Groucutt died on the afternoon of 19th February 2009 of a heart attack," a representative for the artist posted on his official website. "Our hearts and thoughts go out to Anna and Kelly's family. He touched all of our lives with his love, kindness and generosity as well as his talent for music and song. He was a true and wonderful friend who loved every second of life and he will be greatly missed by us all.
Funeral details were not immediately available.Copyright 2009 Associated Press.