The multi-instrumentalist received his first big break in the music industry when he joined King Crimson as the lead singer in 1972. He later toured with Roxy Music and recorded multiple albums with Uriah Heap. In 1977 he formed and fronted UK; upon their break-up in 1980, Wetton released his solo debut Caught in the Crossfire.
He is best known, however, as a co-founder and frontman of Asia, alongside Steve Howe and Geoff Downs of Yes, as well as Carl Palmer of Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Though Wetton didn't remain a consistent member of Asia for the entire duration of the band, he rejoined the group in 2006 and remained a member until his death.
Asia's official Twitter account confirmed Wetton's death this morning (January 31), announcing that Wetton "passed away in his sleep this morning."
We regret to announce that iconic singer, John Wetton, passed away in his sleep this morning.— Original Asia (@originalasia) January 31, 2017
Rest in Peace, John.
12/06/1949 – 31/01/2017
His former bandmate Carl Palmer has since shared his own personal condolences via a Facebook post. Read it in its entirety below.
Other artists, collaborators and fans have also shared messages of sympathy. Read a selection of those below.
Dear All, I am sorry to be the bearer of the very sad news that my dearest friend, bandmate and co-writer, John Wetton has passed away.— Geoffrey Downes (@asiageoff) January 31, 2017