LONDON (AP) — British rocker Jon Lord, former keyboardist for the band Deep Purple, has died. He was 71 years old.

A statement on Lord's official website says the Leicester, England-born musician suffered a fatal pulmonary embolism in London on Monday after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

Lord co-wrote some of Deep Purple's most famous tunes, including "Smoke on the Water," and later had a successful solo career following his retirement from the band in 2002.

The statement posted on Lord's website said he died "surrounded by his loving family.

Copyright (2012) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.