British band had string of hits in the '70s

Kelly Groucutt, former bass player with 1970s rock hitmakers ELO, died Feb. 19 in Worcester, central England, after having a heart attack. He was 63.

Formed in Birmingham, England, in 1971 by local musicians Jeff Lynne and Roy Wood, ELO — short for Electric Light Orchestra — combined rock ‘n roll with orchestral arrangements replete with string sections, choirs and symphonic sweep.

Groucutt joined ELO in 1974 after leaving his previous band, Sight and Sound. He played bass and sang during ELO’s heyday as one of the world’s biggest rock acts. ELO had a string of British and U.S. chart hits during the 1970s and early 1980s, including “Livin’ Thing,” “Mr. Blue Sky” and “Don’t Bring Me Down.”

Groucutt left the band in 1983 but later toured with several successor acts, including ELO Part II and The Orchestra.

He is survived by his wife Anna and four children.

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