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Entertainment

Pat Torpey, Mr. Big Drummer & Founding Member, Dies at 64

Billboard logo Billboard 2018-02-09 Rania Aniftos

Pat Torpey of Mr. Big © Robert Knight Archive/Redferns Pat Torpey of Mr. Big

Pat Torpey, drummer and founding member of rock band Mr. Big, passed away Wednesday (February 7) due to complications of Parkinson’s disease. He was 64 years old.

His band shared the news on Twitter, asking for privacy and noting that services have yet to be scheduled for the drummer. “With breaking hearts we tell you that our brother, friend, drummer, and founding member, Pat, passed away Wednesday, February 7 from complications of Parkinson’s disease,” the post reads.

Torpey was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2014, yet still played with Mr. Big as a background vocalist and contributing to percussion.

The drummer caught the attention of Paul Gilbert and Billy Sheehan while touring with Tina Turner, Belinda Carlisle and the Knack. The artists were looking to form a group with singer Eric Martin. Mr. Big’s self-titled debut record was released in 1989 and their second record, 1991’s Lean Into It, hit No. 15 on the Billboard 200 chart.

Although the group split in 2002, they reunited in 2009 and released three albums since. Mr. Big’s most recent album, Defying Gravity, was released in July 2017.

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