Guitar legend Allan Holdsworth passed away today (April 16) at the age of 70.
His daughter Louise stated via Facebook: "It is with heavy hearts that we notify everyone of the passing of our beloved father.
"We would appreciate privacy and time while we grieve the loss of our dad, grandad, friend and musical genius.
"We will update close friends and family when service arrangements have been made and will notify the public of an open memorial service, which all would be welcome.
"We are undeniably still in shock with his unexpected death and cannot begin to put into words the overwhelming sadness we are experiencing. He is missed tremendously. -Louise, Sam, Emily & Rori."
Mostly known for his work in the realm of jazz fusion, Mr. Holdsworth was cited as one of the key influences of a wide array of guitar players, including Eddie Van Halen, Joe Satriani, Shawn Lane, John Petrucci, Alex Lifeson, Yngwie Malmsteen, Guthrie Govan, Michael Romeo, Tom Morello, Richie Kotzen, and even Frank Zappa, who once called Allan "one of the most interesting guys on guitar on the planet."
Guthrie Govan once said about Holdsworth: "I think it's potentially dangerous when a rock type player hears a bit of Allan Holdsworth or Frank Gambale and then dives straight into that style of playing; not only is the technical aspect daunting, there's also all that musical knowledge and understanding going on behind the scenes, and it's really hard to absorb both of those aspects at once without your playing just starting to sound worse."
Several months back, Tom Morello singled out Holdsworth's 1985 track "Metal Fatigue" as the No. 1 song that inspired him to think outside the box as a guitarist, telling Music Radar:
"The big introduction to outside playing for me was Allan Holdsworth. I remember a friend of mine playing me his song 'Metal Fatigue.' And admittedly, while the singing is kinda hokey, the guitar playing is insane. It was the first time I heard someone go outside of the expected melodic parameters, and that sounded fantastic to me.
"The DigiTech Whammy pedal felt like such a revelation when I got one in 1991 - I had been trying to find a way to approximate the harmonizer used on that Allan Holdsworth song. I bought a rack harmonizer but I couldn't even figure it out."
Rest in peace, icon.
UPDATE: Tributes from across the music world started pouring in soon after the announcement was made. You can find some of them below.
R.I.P. Allan Holdsworth. You remain an enormous inspiration to me. Your beautiful music will live on forever. pic.twitter.com/UEpuqCTm8s— Joe Satriani (@chickenfootjoe) April 16, 2017
Huge loss, true genius. His music went over heads at times (mine 2 admittedly) but brilliant uncompromising & impactful RIP#AllanHoldsworth pic.twitter.com/6H6tiKe2gn— Alex Skolnick (@AlexSkolnick) April 16, 2017
I cant believe it!— Steve Lukather (@stevelukather) April 16, 2017
Allan Holdsworth, legendary guitarist of our generation !
He changed the game + was the sweetest guy ever...
I'm very saddened to hear about the death of Allan Holdsworth today. He was a huge influence on my playing as... https://t.co/gUzIYxlEjd— John Petrucci (@JPetrucci) April 16, 2017
Alan Holdsworth...RIP...Stunning Guitarist. Thoughts & Prayers To His Family, Friends & Fans... pic.twitter.com/tTDmObQwun— David Coverdale (@davidcoverdale) April 16, 2017
R.I.P Allan Holdsworth - A fantastic guitarist and true originator. #Legend— shawn drover (@shawndrover) April 16, 2017
R.I.P. Allan Holdsworth. pic.twitter.com/ubyzaV6JXH— Michael Amott (@Michael_Amott) April 16, 2017
One of my favorite guitarist's died today. RIP Allan Holdsworth. Still play those classic Tony Williams Lifetime songs.— Dave Meniketti (@DaveMeniketti) April 16, 2017
RIP to Allan Holdsworth. Totally changed electric guitar and inspired thousands. Dammit. https://t.co/w6geJpVsSL— Brendon Small (@_Brendonsmall) April 16, 2017
Oh my God. Allan Holdsworth has died. A genius & innovator and one of my heroes. Here's a photo T Lev took the last time I saw him NY 2013 pic.twitter.com/5752wwqEz8— Jakko M Jakszyk (@JakkoJ) April 16, 2017
To have lost Squire, Emerson, Lake, Wetton & now Holdsworth in under 2 years is unfathomable...The Great Prog Gig in the Sky keeps growing— Mike Portnoy (@MikePortnoy) April 16, 2017
Devastated to hear of the passing of a legend! RIP Allan Holdsworth— Richie Kotzen (@Richie_Kotzen) April 16, 2017
Wow, just heard that Allan Holdsworth passed away. Another one of the greats is gone. RIP— Gus G. (@gusgofficial) April 16, 2017
Rest in peace, my brother Allan pic.twitter.com/drfLxTCev1— Tony MacAlpine (@tonymacalpine) April 16, 2017
Very sad to hear about the loss of Allan Holdsworth. We were just at NAMM together for ISP! A brilliant guitarist & innovator. God Bless you— MichaelSweet Stryper (@michaelhsweet) April 16, 2017
RIP Allan Holdsworth Wow... how very sad. Enjoy life it's been 2 very heavy years... God Bless https://t.co/SUnlOhACmT— Neal Schon (@NealSchonMusic) April 16, 2017
Oh no so sad to hear this. Brilliant unique guitar master player. Rest In Peace Alan. https://t.co/39sShdz15T— Peter Frampton (@peterframpton) April 16, 2017
RIP Allan Holdsworth.... what a legend, definitely one of the most innovative and influential players to have ever lived!— Jason Richardson (@jasonGRIN) April 16, 2017
RIP Allan Holdsworth— Dino Cazares (@DinoCazares) April 16, 2017
Rest In Peace Allan Holdsworth--supreme brilliant innovator.— Billy Sheehan (@BillyonBass) April 17, 2017
Click to help his family if you can--... https://t.co/ihadpOY0LU