Credit: Rob ShanahanThe music world is reeling from the news that Yes bassist Chris Squire has died. The lauded musician, who was the only member of the legendary prog-rock group to remain in the band throughout its entire history, died Sunday of a rare form of leukemia at the age of 67.

A variety of Squire’s former band mates, musical collaborators and friends have written messages paying tribute to the influential bassist that have been compiled by Yes on a special section of the group’s website.

Founding Yes singer Jon Anderson issued a statement that reads, “Chris was a very special part of my life; we were musical brothers. He was an amazingly unique bass player — very poetic — and had a wonderful knowledge of harmony. We met at a certain time when music was very open, and I feel blessed to have created some wonderful, adventurous, music with him. Chris had such a great sense of humor… he always said he was Darth Vader to my Obiwan. I always thought of him as Christopher Robin to my Winnie the Pooh.”

Anderson, who left Yes on somewhat acrimonious terms in 2008, added, “Throughout everything, he was still my brother, and I’m so glad we were able to reconnect recently. I saw him in my meditation last night, and he was radiant.”

Longtime Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman posted the following tribute on his Twitter feed: “Thanks for your life Chris. You may be gone but the music lives on for ever. You’ve personally left me with great memories and great music.”

Original Yes drummer Bill Bruford wrote an homage to Squire in which he described the bassist as “one of the twin rocks upon which Yes was founded,” adding, “He and I had a working relationship built around our differences. Despite, or perhaps because of, the old chestnut about creative tension, it seemed, strangely, to work.” Bruford went on to praise Squire’s unique and creative approach to the bass, noting that he was “[a]n individualist in an age when it was possible to establish individuality [who] fearlessly staked out a whole protectorate of bass playing in which he was lord and master.”

Former Yes guitarist/singer Trevor Rabin, who played with the band from 1982 to 1994, wrote, “I am about as sad as I could be…I spoke to [Chris] about a week ago, and we were still laughing together. Even though he had recently taken a turn for the worse, this was not totally unexpected, and the shock and sadness is extreme. I will miss him terribly. An era is over. Music has lost a one of a kind, and I have lost a dear friend and brother.”

Ex-Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett, who released a collaborative album with Squire under the name Squackett in 2012 and worked on a few other projects with the bassist, said he was devastated by the news of his death. Hackett called Squire a “special pal and a man who defined the progressive genre,” adding, “Open to all styles with a love of orchestras and choirs as well as thunderous rock, his passing leaves a huge hole in the heart of music. His ingenious sound was unique.”

Lastly, Queen guitarist Brian May wrote a lengthy tribute in which he discussed how influential and unique Squire’s playing was and how Yes inspired his own band to combine hard rock with soaring melodies. May wrote that Squire’s “bass playing style was a million miles away from the low-pitched thud of most bassists of the time.” He added, “May he rest in peace and happiness, knowing he played a great part in changing Rock for ever.”

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