"His right hand and arm had given him problems for years. He had an operation a few years ago to take out a bad muscle but the pain and nerve issues in his right hand were getting worse," she said. "He had concerts coming up in Japan and even though they hired a back-up keyboard player to support him, Keith was worried. He read all the criticism online and was a sensitive soul. Last year he played concerts and people posted mean comments such as, 'I wish he would stop playing.' He was tormented with worry that he wouldn't be good enough. He was planning to retire after Japan. He didn't want to let down his fans. He was a perfectionist and the thought he wouldn't play perfectly made him depressed, nervous and anxious."
8 Essential Keith Emerson Songs
In addition to his classic work in the prog-rock canon with Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Emerson also performed with influential British band The Nice in the '60s.
Billboard reached out to a rep for Emerson, Lake & Palmer for comment.