Gerard Smith died of lung cancer this morning, the band's website confirms. Smith was 34 years old.
"We are very sad to announce the death of our beloved friend and bandmate, Gerard Smith, following a courageous fight against lung cancer. Gerard passed away the morning of April 20th, 2011. We will miss him terribly," reads the group's site. Five upcoming tour dates are canceled.
The band announced Smith's cancer in mid-March, saying he finished recording the new (now celebrated, since its April 11 release) album 'Nine Types of Light' before being diagnosed. He joined the group in 2005.
"Upon the completion of 'Nine Types of Light', Gerard was diagnosed with lung cancer," the band wrote in March. "As a result, he has been undergoing treatment and will be unable to participate in the upcoming tour."
The statement continued: "Gerard is fortunate enough to have health insurance and is receiving excellent medical care. Already we have seen dramatic results. Combine that with Gerard's legendarily willful disposition and it might just be cancer that has the problem. We appreciate your concern and support for Gerard and his family."
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