The songwriter behind Michael Jackson‘s greatest hit Thriller, Rod Temperton, has died aged 66.
The musician, who wrote some of the biggest hits of the late star, died after a battle with cancer.
Jon Platt, president and CEO of Warner / Chappell announced the sad news today, saying in a statement: “Rod Temperton, composer and British musician, died last week at the age of 66 in London after a brief aggressive battle against cancer.”
He added: “His funeral was private. He was often referred to as The Invisible Man.
“He was the sole writer of multiple successful songs such as Thriller, Off The Wall, Rock With You, Give Me The Night, Sweet Freedom, Always & Forever and Boogie Nights to name just a few.
“His family is devastated and request total privacy at this, the saddest of sad times.”
Temperton initially made his mark as the keyboardist and main songwriter for the R&B band Heatwave, before writing several internationally known songs performed by the late singer.
Tributes are already pouring in, as one fan wrote on Twitter: “Rest In Peace Rod Temperton. The ‘Thriller’ songwriter has passed away after a battle with cancer. Our thoughts go out to his family.”
And another added: “Sad news about #RodTemperton, a truly great songwriter who created so much effortless pop & soul. RIP.”
The talented composer wrote Jackson classics including Off the Wall, Rock With You, Thriller, Baby Be Mine, Burn This Disco Out and The Lady in My Life.
He has also penned songs for huge artists including Anita Baker, Aretha Franklin, The Brothers Johnson, George Benson, and Quincy Jones.