The Charlatans

Jon Brookes, second from right, with The Charlatans circa 1992

Jon Brookes, second from right, with The Charlatans circa 1992 (Getty Images)

Jon Brookes, drummer for British rock band The Charlatans, has died after a lengthy battle with brain cancer. He was 44. The band said on its website that Brookes died in a hospital on Tuesday morning with his family beside him.

"Jon was a brilliant drummer, an inspiration, a founding member of The Charlatans, part of our family and a friend to everyone in and around the band," the group said in a statement. "Losing someone who was always so full of life is a tragedy that will be shared by so many."

Lead singer Tim Burgess tweeted that the band was "torn apart" by Brookes' death.

"Jon Brookes, my friend, our drummer and inspiration to so many, passed away this morning. We are torn apart. Love & thoughts to Jon's family," he said.

Brookes was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2010 after collapsing onstage during a concert in Philadelphia. He had been working on new material with The Charlatans this summer. 

Brookes was a founding member of the band, which drew on funk, rock and psychedelia and came to be associated with the early 1990s "Madchester" scene. The Charlatans' multiple British hits include "The Only One I Know" and "Can't Get Out of Bed."

In the United States, the band added "UK" to its name because there had already been an influential group in the late 1960s called The Charlatans. In the U.S. the band has scored four top 20 hits on what is now known as Billboard's Alternative Songs chart, with 1992's dance-friendly "Weirdo" being their lone number one.

He is survived by his wife and three daughters.