Walter Becker
Co-founder of Steely Dan, Walter Becker, pictured here in 2001, has died aged 67 Reuters

One of the founders of US band Steely Dan, Walter Becker has died aged 67.

The guitarist had not been able to perform in concerts in July with band mate Donald Fagen, saying earlier that he was recovering from an unspecified condition.

In a statement, Fagen said: "Walter Becker was smart as a whip, an excellent guitarist and a great songwriter. He was cynical about human nature, including his own, and hysterically funny.

He said he wanted to "keep the music we created together alive as long as I can with the Steely Dan band".

The pair formed the band at Bard College in New York and their jazz-flavoured music saw them sell 40m records.

Their hits included Reelin' in the Years, Do it Again, Rikki Don't Lose That Number and Deacon Blues and their album, Aja was seen as their biggest critical success and sold more than 5m copies.

Musicians were quick to pay tribute on social media, with hip hop artist Talib Kweli tweeting: "Thank you Mr. Becker for a lifetime of great music."

Rapper Pharoahe Monch wrote: "RIP Walter Becker. If you're a Steely Dan fan you have to check out the Aja documentary... insane. Super Inspiring as an artist." Julian Lennon tweeted: "So sad to hear this news", Nile Rodgers wrote: "They're one of my favourite bands".