Hilton Valentine, an English musician who was a guitarist in rhythm blues and rock band The Animals, has died. He was 77.

His death was revealed by the record company Abkco Music & Records on Friday. “Our deepest sympathies go out to @HiltonValentine‘s family and friends on his passing this morning, at the age of 77,” the company wrote on Twitter. “A founding member and original guitarist of The Animals, Valentine was a pioneering guitar player influencing the sound of rock and roll for decades to come.”

No cause of death was provided.

Valentine was born in 1943 in Northumberland, England, and joined The Animals, which was led by frontman Eric Burdon, in the early 1960s. Starting with The Animals in 1964, the group released numerous albums and had many rotating members over the years.

Their hits include “The House of the Rising Sun” and “We Gotta Get Out of This Place.”

The band’s final album was Ark in 1983. In 1994, the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Later in Valentine’s career, he resided in California and worked on solo projects including the album All in Your Head and Skiffledog on Coburg Street.

Survivors include Valentine’s wife, Germaine.


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