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The British musician died “peacefully” on Thursday surrounded by his wife and daughters.
With David Coverdale, Marsden co-founded Whitesnake and co-wrote hits such as Here I Go Again and Fool For Your Loving, before pursuing a solo career.
An online statement on behalf of his family, posted on Friday, read: “It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Bernie Marsden.
“Bernie never lost his passion for music, writing and recording until the end.”
Whitesnake lead singer Coverdale said he was “honored” to share the stage with Marsden.
“Hello…Just woke up to the terrible news that my old friend and former Snake Bernie Marsden has passed away,” he wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.
“My sincere thoughts and prayers to his beloved family, friends and fans. A really funny and gifted man, with whom I had the honor to know and share a scene. RIP, Bernie.
Coverdale also shared other tributes to Marsden on social media.
Marsden was born in Buckingham and played in several bands as a teenager before turning professional with UFO in 1972.
He and Coverdale formed Whitesnake in 1978, playing on the band’s first EP and first five albums.
During this period, he recorded two solo albums: And About Time Too and Look At Me Now.
After leaving Whitesnake in 1981, Marsden formed Alaska, releasing two albums in the 1980s, before briefly forming MGM with Neil Murray and Mel Galley.
The group also included Toto singer Bobby Kimball.
In 2011, he reunited with Whitesnake for the first time since 1981 at the Swedish Rock Festival, becoming the only original band member to play with a later line-up.
In early 2017, Marsden self-released his autobiography, Where’s My Guitar: On The Tourbus With The Snakeman, which covered his musical journey and featured private, previously unseen footage from his career.
Out to make records, he played with some of the greatest rock and roll musicians of all time, including Robert Plant, Paul Weller, Jon Lord and Gary Moore.
He was also part of Sir Ringo Starr’s All Starr Band.