The Stranglers keyboard player Dave Greenfield has died at the age of 71 after testing positive for Covid-19.

Greenfield died on Sunday having contracted the virus after a prolonged stay in hospital for heart problems.

He penned the band's biggest hit, Golden Brown, a song about heroin, which went to number two on the UK singles chart in 1982.

The Stranglers bass player Jean-Jacques "JJ" Burnel paid tribute to Greenfield as a "musical genius".

He said: "On the evening of Sunday May 3rd, my great friend and longstanding colleague of 45 years, the musical genius that was Dave Greenfield, passed away as one of the victims of the Great Pandemic of 2020.

"All of us in the worldwide Stranglers' family grieve and send our sincerest condolences to [Greenfield's wife] Pam."

Drummer Jet Black added: "We have just lost a dear friend and music genius, and so has the whole world.

"Dave was a complete natural in music. Together, we toured the globe endlessly and it was clear he was adored by millions. A huge talent, a great loss, he is dearly missed." 

The Stranglers formed in 1974 in Guildford, Surrey. Greenfield, who originated from Brighton, joined within a year and they went on to be associated with the punk era.

He was soon known for his distinctive sound and playing style on instruments including the harpsichord and Hammond electric organ. Critics compared his sound to that of Ray Manzarek from The Doors. 

Absolutely loved the stranglers in my youth.

RIP. 

Time signature for Golden Brown still as fresh as ever