Songwriter behind John Farnham’s iconic hit You’re the Voice dies aged 76 – as Farnsey is rushed to hospital following 12-hour cancer surgery

Legendary songwriter Keith Reid has died, aged 76. 

Redi, who was the lyricist for English rock band Procol Harum, was also a co-writer on John Farnham‘s smash hit single You’re the Voice.

The musician’s death comes amid news Farnham has been rushed to hospital with a respiratory infection.

Reid was one of four songwriters, along with Andy Qunta, Maggie Ryder and Chris Thompson, who penned the 1986 track, with Reid doing primary duty on the lyrics. 

The song reached number one on the ARIA charts and number six on the UK Singles chart, as well as gaining a top ten spot in several European countries. 

Legendary songwriter Keith Reid (pictured) has died, aged 76. The lyricist was a co-writer on John Farnham's smash hit single You're the Voice

Legendary songwriter Keith Reid (pictured) has died, aged 76. The lyricist was a co-writer on John Farnham’s smash hit single You’re the Voice

Procol Harum, known for their 1967 hit A Whiter Shade Of Pale, confirmed Keith’s passing in a Facebook post they shared on Wednesday.  

The group revealed that Keith, who was from Hertfordshire, had been receiving treatment for cancer and ‘died suddenly’ in London last Thursday.

The statement read: ‘It is with the deepest sadness that we must announce the passing of the lyricist Keith Reid, who died suddenly on 23 March 2023, in hospital in London. He had been receiving cancer treatment for the past couple of years.

‘Keith was the co-founder and lyricist for the band Procol Harum, notably penning their biggest hit A Whiter Shade of Pale, which contains some of the most enigmatic lyrics of all time. 

‘He always said that, at the end of his life, he would explain what it all meant: but sadly he didn’t get this opportunity.

Reid was one of four songwriters, along with Andy Qunta, Maggie Ryder and Chris Thompson, who penned the 1986 track, with Reid doing primary duty on the lyrics. The song reached number one on the ARIA charts and number six on the UK Singles chart. Farnham is pictured

Reid was one of four songwriters, along with Andy Qunta, Maggie Ryder and Chris Thompson, who penned the 1986 track, with Reid doing primary duty on the lyrics. The song reached number one on the ARIA charts and number six on the UK Singles chart. Farnham is pictured

‘Keith was also involved in numerous other projects within entertainment, and was a co-writer on what became known as the unofficial Australian anthem You’re the Voice, sung by John Farnham.

‘His family would like to thank numerous well-wishers for their very kind messages. A private funeral will be held, and this page will be updated soon with details for those who would like to make a donation in his memory. Keith will be greatly missed.’

Farnham, 73, had been recovering from major surgery in a rehabilitation centre, before he was hospitalised again with a lung infection, his family confirmed in a statement on Friday.

‘He is currently being treated for a respiratory infection in hospital, but he is comfortable and receiving the very best care,’ the statement read.

Farnham underwent a 12-hour operation to have a tumour removed at a Melbourne hospital last August, shortly after being diagnosed with mouth cancer.

He only discovered he had the cancerous growth in his mouth after his wife insisted on taking him to the doctor for a check up.

Farnham’s team announced at the time that he is ‘unlikely’ to ever perform again.

The musician's death comes amid news Farnham has been rushed to hospital with a respiratory infection

The musician’s death comes amid news Farnham has been rushed to hospital with a respiratory infection



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