Founder of The Sweet, Steven Priest has died aged 72.

The band announced the passing on Thursday, in a statement on their Facebook page

It read  ‘Dear Friends and Fans, We have very sad news – Please see the below statement from Steve Priest’s family.’’

The family’s statement said ‘“It is with a heavy heart that we announce at 8:25 am PT today, Steve Priest, a founding member of The Sweet, passed away. He is survived by his wife, Maureen, three daughters, Lisa, Danielle & Maggie and 3 grandchildren, Jordan, Jade & Hazel.’

Following on from the announcement, fans were quick to respond with their tributes with one saying  ‘Thank you so much for MY life in music. My first 7″ single purchase was Blockbuster. Pre-teen me won a fully signed Desolation Boulevard LP in Capital Radio’s release week phone-in competition. Last month I purchased an original copy of Strung Up LPN – tour manager. RIP Steve’.

The musician was born in Hayes, in the UK and mean playing bass guitar as a teenager, after being influence by Jet Harris of the Shadows, Rolling Stones and The Who.

In 1968, Priest was invited to form a four-piece band with Brian Connolly, drummer Mick Tucker, and guitarist Frank Torpey, the band became The Sweet.