LOS ANGELES - Jazz keyboard legend Chick Corea died Tuesday from a rare form of cancer, according to a post on his official Facebook page on Thursday.
Corea’s career spanned over five decades in which the prolific pianist performed on several Miles Davis albums, including "Black Beauty: Live at the Fillmore West" and "Miles Davis at Fillmore: Live at the Fillmore East."
"It is with great sadness we announce that on February 9th, Chick Corea passed away at the age of 79, from a rare form of cancer which was only discovered very recently," Corea’s Facebook page wrote. "He was a beloved husband, father and grandfather, and a great mentor and friend to so many. Through his body of work and the decades he spent touring the world, he touched and inspired the lives of millions."
Corea earned a staggering 23 Grammy Awards since he first broke through with his 1968 album, "Now He sings, Now He Sobs."
He won his first Grammy at the 18th Grammy Awards when he won for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance.
In 1968, Corea replaced Herbie Hancock in Miles Davis’ group, playing on the landmark albums "In a Silent Way" and "Bitches Brew."
He formed his own avant-garde group, Circle, and then founded Return to Forever. He’s worked on many other projects, including duos with Hancock and vibraphonist Gary Burton. He recorded and performed classical music, standards, solo originals, Latin jazz and tributes to great jazz pianists.
Last year, Corea released the double album "Plays," which captured him at various concerts armed simply with his piano.
"Like a runner loves to run because it just feels good, I like to play the piano just because it feels good," he told The Associated Press at the time. "I can just switch gears and go to another direction or go to another song or whatever I want to do. So it’s a constant experiment."
The double album was a peek into Corea’s musical heart, containing songs he wrote about children decades ago as well as tunes by Mozart, Thelonious Monk and Stevie Wonder, among others.
Corea is the artist with the most jazz Grammys in the show’s 63-year history, and he has a chance to posthumously win at the March 14 show, where he’s nominated for best improvised jazz solo for "All Blues" and best jazz instrumental album for "Trilogy 2."
The Associated Press contributed to this story.