Toby Smith, a founding member of the band Jamiroquai, died on Tuesday, April 11.
He was only 46 years old.
Not many details are available concerning Smith’s unexpected passing, but it has been confirmed by such reliable outlets as TMZ and Billboard Magazine.
Serving as the keyboard player for the successful group, Smith played a key role on Jamiroquai’s first five albums, which were released between 1992 and 2002.
They were responsible for the band’s best-known hits, including “Virtual Insanity,” “Deeper Underground” and “Space Cowboy.”
After parting ways with Jamiroquai, Smith remained in the music business, producing and managing various groups and artists over the years.
Said bassist Stuart Zender in response to this tragic news:
“I love you so much. My big brother Toby crossed over to the other side … The most talented musician I have ever had the honor to make music with.”
Smith formed Jamiroquai 1992 with lead singer Jay Kay and members Stuart Zender, Nick Van Gelder and Wallis Buchanan.
He left after a decade in order to spend more time with his family.
According to Jamiroquai fan site Funkin, Smith set up a recording studio after leaving the band.
He also got into such hobbies as making cider with friends and fixing up classic cars.
Moreover, Smith produced and managed U.K. pop band The Hoosiers and co-produced and wrote on The X Factor champion Matt Cardle’s third album, Porcelain, in 2013.
“There will never be another like you Toby,” concluded Zender in his social media message, adding:
“Your light will shine on eternally. Thank you for making mine and everyone’s life so bright. I celebrate your love and life! Rest in Love.”
Kay has also chimed in on Facebook, penning a lengthy message that ended as follows:
All you have to do is put his music on, wherever you are, whatever your mood, and let his amazing alchemy of chord structure, his mastery of timing, and his effortless and eloquent solos, get under your skin, right into your soul, and make you smile at the world, not matter how bad it seems.
Without him, there would be no JAMIROQUAI, and as I write this, the moon is clear and bright in the sky, and I think of him how it should be, riding his mighty horse across it, leaving a trail of stars behind him.
I will miss you so much Tobesman. I will always be so proud of you. Ride the wind buddy, nothing can stop you now.
We send our condolences to the friends, family members and loved ones of Toby Smith.
May he rest in peace.