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Greg Lake (centre) was also a member of the rock band Emerson, Lake And Palmer alongside Keith Emerson and Carl PalmerKeystone/Getty Images

Greg Lake, one of progressive rock's most revered figures, has died at 69 following a lengthy battle with cancer. Announcing the news via Facebook, Lake's manager Stewart Young wrote: "Yesterday, December 7th, I lost my best friend to a long and stubborn battle with cancer."

Young added: "Greg Lake will stay in my heart forever, as he has always been. His family would be grateful for privacy during this time of their grief. Many thanks, Stewart Young."

Lake rose to prominence in the prog band King Crimson, whose first two albums, In The Court Of The Crimson King and In The Wake Of Poseidon, both made the top 5 in the UK charts.

He also made a cross over into the pop world with the single I Believe In Father Christmas, which made #2 in 1975 and later became a festive standard.

Later in his career, Lake teamed up with Keith Emerson – who died earlier this year – and Carl Palmer to form Emerson, Lake And Palmer. The group enjoyed a successful run, releasing nine albums and selling over 48 million records.

Reacting to the news of Lake's death, Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett tweeted: "Music bows its head to acknowledge the passing of a great musician and singer, Greg Lake," while Yes keyboardist Geoff Downes said: "Very sad about Greg Lake. I had the privilege of working with him on several projects. His great talent will be sorely missed by all. Another genius has passed away. 2016 has truly been an annus horribilis in musical history."

Listen to Greg Lake's I Believe In Father Christmas: