The Moody Blues founding member and drummer Graeme Edge has died at age 80. The band's Justin Hayward shared the news on the band's Facebook. "It’s a very sad day. Graeme’s sound and personality is present in everything we did together and thankfully that will live on."

The Moody Blues formed in 1964 and released their debut album, The Magnificent Moodies, in 1965. It was the band's revamped 1966 lineup, with singer/guitarist Hayward and bassist John Lodge, that cemented the band as a rock powerhouse, releasing their symphonic pop/prog classic  Days of Future Passed in 1967 that featured hits "Nights in White Satin" and "Tuesday Afternoon." The band would go on to score hits through the '70s and into the '80s, and Graeme was the last remaining founding member of the band to be with the group their entire run until his retirement in 2018. The year before, Graeme toured with The Moody Blues to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Days of Future Passed.

"Graeme was one of the great characters of the music business and there will never be his like again," Hayward said, and you can read his full tribute to Graeme below.

Rest in peace, Graeme.

It’s a very sad day. Graeme’s sound and personality is present in everything we did together and thankfully that will live on.

When Graeme told me he was retiring I knew that without him it couldn’t be the Moody Blues anymore. And that’s what happened. It’s true to say that he kept the group together throughout all the years, because he loved it.

In the late 1960’s we became the group that Graeme always wanted it to be, and he was called upon to be a poet as well as a drummer. He delivered that beautifully and brilliantly, while creating an atmosphere and setting that the music would never have achieved without his words. I asked Jeremy Irons to recreate them for our last tours together and it was absolutely magical.

Graeme, and his parents, were very kind to me when I first joined the group, and for the first two years, he and I either lived together, or next door to each other - and despite us having almost nothing in common, we had fun and laughs all the way, as well as making what was probably the best music of our lives.

Graeme was one of the great characters of the music business and there will never be his like again.

My sincerest condolences to his family.

Justin Hayward