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Keith Emerson death ruled a suicide

Keith Emerson’s death has been ruled a suicide by investigating authorities.

The Emerson, Lake and Palmer keyboard icon was found dead at his home last week, aged 71, after what was described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head.

The County Of Los Angeles Department of Medical Examiner’s coroner report lists other significant causes of death as heart disease and depression cause by chronic use of alcohol. The case has been closed.

Emerson’s girlfriend said at the weekend that he’d become “tormented with worry” about upcoming show in Japan, after suffering a nervous problem that made it difficult for him to play.

Mari Kawaguchi told the Daily Mail: “His right hand and arm had given him problems for years. He had an operation a few years ago but the pain and nerve issues were getting worse.

“Keith was worried – he read all the criticism online and was a sensitive soul. Last year he played concerts and people posted mean comments such as, ‘I wish he would stop playing.’

“He was planning to retire after Japan. He was a perfectionist and the thought he wouldn’t play perfectly made him depressed, nervous and anxious.”

ELP colleague Greg Lake said this week that Emerson’s death hadn’t come as a shock, and that the keyboardist had been struggling with depression for years, adding: “He lived, in the end, this very lonely existence of someone who was deeply troubled. I saw someone who became increasingly confused, desperate and depressed.”

Help and advice is available worldwide for people struggling with suicidal thoughts.