Happy Mondays bass player Paul Ryder dies hours before gig

(Middle) Happy Mondays star Paul Ryder has died. Credit: PA images

Happy Mondays star Paul Ryder has died at the age of 58.

The bass player, who is one of the founding members of the Manchester band, passed away on Friday morning, 15 July.

Fellow bandmate and brother, Shaun Ryder, confirmed the news on social media, describing Paul as "a true pioneer and legend".

The circumstances of Paul’s death are not known and the family have asked for privacy.

A statement released on Twitter, Shaun Ryder said: "The Ryder family and Happy Mondays band members are deeply saddened and shocked to say that Paul Ryder passed away this morning"A true pioneer and legend. He will be forever missed "We thank you for respecting the privacy of all concerned at this time. "Long live his funk x"

Bass player Paul was a founding member of the Manchester band along with brother and frontman Shaun Ryder, both hailing from Little Hulton.

They went on to achieve huge success in the 1980s and 90s with hits including Step On, Kinky Afro and Loose Fit.His post-funk basslines came to define the music of the Madchester era, when the band were signed to the city's legendary label Factory Records.

Credit: MEN media

After leaving the Mondays he went on to live in America where he also pursued an acting career, as well as founding the band Big Arm.But he returned to The Mondays reuniting with his brother in its original line-up for a hugely welcomed comeback tour in 2012.

The band had been back out on tour at festivals across the UK this year, and had been due to play at the Kubik Festival in the North East on Friday night.

The musician was due to play at Kubix Festival in Sunderland on Friday, 15 July.

Oasis and Ride guitarist Andy Bell was among those paying tribute, tweeting: “Really sad news about Paul Ryder, RIP.”

The Stone Roses frontman Ian Brown added: “Rest in peace Ryder. A great friend, a great musician, a great fella, big love to Amelia, Jacob, Sonny, Chico and the family and band. Love ya longtime Pabs.”

Listen to the ITV News' entertainment podcast, Unscripted.