The Monkees singer and bassist Peter Tork died on Thursday, February 21 after a decade-long battle with tongue cancer. He was 77 years old.
His death was allegedly confirmed by his sister, Anne Thorkelson, who didn’t reveal how or where he succumbed.
In 2009, Tork was diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma, a rare, slow-growing type of cancer that was found on his tongue.
At the time of his diagnosis, Tork underwent surgery and radiation — but always remained positive. “My plan is to rocket out of radiation and onto the stage!” he told The National ENQUIRER at the time.
“My doctors have told me I may be a little hoarse. But I’ll make adjustments as needed. I have every intention of giving a rollicking good show,” he added. “When I’m singing with my band, that’s when I have that ‘God’s in his Heaven, all is right with the world’ experience.”
Tork was known as the self-described “dummy” of The Monkees, and he played the bass and keyboard, as well as sang for the group. His fame skyrocketed after his piano intro on their hit song “Daydream Believer.”
When The Monkees premiered on NBC in 1966, Tork was the oldest member at age 24. He left the group in the ’60s in an effort to make it on his own, but returned in the ’80s for reunion tours.
Davy Jones, Tork’s fellow Monkees bandmate, died in February 2012. Tork’s death now leaves Micky Dolenz and Michael Nesmith as the two remaining living members of the iconic foursome.
Tork is survived by his wife, Pam Tork, and three adult children.
Our thoughts remain with his family and friends during this difficult time.