The Monkees Singer Peter Tork Dies At 77

The Monkees singer and bassist Peter Tork has died at the age of 77.

Tork passed away on Thursday as confirmed by his sister Anne Thorkelson, though no cause of death was revealed. Tork had been diagnosed with cystic carcinoma in 2009, a rare type of tongue cancer, but it isn't known if that was the cause (via Daily Mail).

Tork was one part of the foursome that made up The Monkees, which also included Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones, and Michael Nesmith. They were originally constructed as a band for The Monkees TV series in 1965, which only ran for two seasons but spawned hit songs, a movie, and even a comic book series. Alongside the TV series, the studio released their first album The Monkees, which stayed on top of the Billboard charts for 13 weeks.

That was followed up in 1967 by More of the Monkees, which surpassed that original chart length and stayed at No. 1 for 18 weeks. It was also the best selling album of the year that year and has been certified quintuple platinum. They would go on to release several more albums in the 60s, including Headquarters (1967), Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn, & Jones Ltd. (1967), The Birds, The Bees & the Monkees (1968), and the soundtrack to Head, their 1968 movie.

The comic series was published by Dell Comics, and ran from 1967 to 1969, spawning 17 issues.

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The band would go out on several tours and reunion concerts over the years, and the surviving members of the group even recently recorded a Christmas album together titled Christmas Party, which featured two vocal performances by Davy Jones.

Our thoughts are with Tork's family and friends at this difficult time.