Former Thin Lizzy guitarist Gary Moore has died at a Costa del Sol hotel.
The musician was found dead in his room at the luxury Kempinski Resort Hotel in Estepona in the early hours of this morning. A postmortem is due to carried out later today in the nearby city of Malaga.
Moore (58) from Belfast is understood to have been on holiday at the time of his death.
A spokesman for the British Foreign Office said: “We are aware of the death of a British national in Estepona. We stand ready to offer consular assistance.”
Moore played with Thin Lizzy for several periods as well working separately with the band's lead singer Phil Lynott, who died in 1986 after falling into a heroin-induced coma.
Moore worked with a number of leading artists, including Bob Dylan.
He had a string of top 40 hits in the 1970s and 1980s including Parisienne Walkways in 1979 and Out in the Fields in 1985.
Bandmates of Moore this evening paid tribute to a “great player and great guy” following his death. Thin Lizzy founding member Brian Downey said he was stunned by the news.
“I am in total shock,” he said. “He will always be in my thoughts and prayers and I just can’t believe he is gone.”
After his time with the Irish rock band, Moore went on to forge a successful solo career and was still actively touring.
His death was confirmed with a poignant message on the star’s official website. “It is with deep sorrow and regret, that we have to announce that Gary Moore passed away while on holiday in Spain last night,” it stated.
“Our thoughts are with his children, family and friends at this sad time.” Despite his solo ventures and numerous collaborations with other bands and artists, it is Moore’s time with Thin Lizzy that he will be best remembered.
He joined the band in 1973 after the sudden departure of guitarist Eric Bell but only played with them for four months.
Four years later he returned and went on to play on the band’s Black Rose album. Thin Lizzy guitarist Scott Gorham said it been a pleasure to share a stage with him.
“Playing with Gary during the Black Rose era was a great experience, he was a great player and a great guy,” he said.
“I will miss him.” Thin Lizzy’s legendary frontman Phil Lynott died in 1986 after battling drink and drug problems.
The band reformed at various times since then and continues to tour. Moore played with some of his former bandmates five years ago.
Downey, who is currently on tour with Thin Lizzy, added: “I have known Gary since 1967 when he was in (the band) Platform Three and he’s been an amazing friend ever since.
“It was a pleasure to play with Gary again in 2006 after his days with Lizzy.”