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Lou Reed Keyboardist Michael Fonfara Dead at 74

Lou Reed Keyboardist Michael Fonfara Dead at 74

Keyboardist Michael Fonfara, best known for his stints with Lou Reed and Foreigner, has died at the age of 74.

The Canadian musician reported passed away in a Toronto hospital on Jan. 8 due to complications from a two-year battle with cancer.

Fonfara served as the keyboardist and band leader for Lou Reed on nine of his albums between 1974 and 2005 including Reed's highest charting album Sally Can't Dance. Fonfara also received executive producer credits on Reed's album The Bells.

Lou Reed, "Street Hassle"

The keyboardist also lent his talents to Foreigner's hugely successful 4 album, that included the hit song "Urgent." His credits also include time with The Everly Brothers, Rough Trade, Rhinoceros and Electric Flag and he spent 30 years as a member of Canadian blues band Downchild whom he still played with at the time of his death.

Foreigner, "Urgent"

"He's the best musician I've ever worked with," states Downchild leader and co-founder Donnie Walsh. Bassist Gary Kendall echoes that sentiment "Yesterday we lost a brother, a bandmate, a co-writer and a dear friend. If you met him, you loved him. A creative genius."

The musician's final recording was Downchild's Live at the Toronto Jazz Festival album that was recorded in 2019 and released this past October.