Del Palmer, the long-time bassist and engineer for Kate Bush, has died at the age of 71.

Palmer’s passing was confirmed via and the musician’s niece. "We are heartbroken to tell you that Del Palmer passed away at home, yesterday, Friday January 5th, surrounded by his family," the post confirmed, noting that Palmer "had dealt with health issues over the last few years.”

"We don’t need to tell anyone out there the monumental role Del has always played in Kate’s work and music – it’s impossible to quantify.”

The London-born Palmer began playing bass in 1967, performing with various groups as he developed his craft. In 1977, Bush recruited Palmer along with his friend and collaborator, Brian Bath, to form the KT Bush Band. Even in their early days playing pubs throughout London, Palmer could sense Bush’s star potential.

“She was going to be huge – that was obvious to me when she was 17 and still a very raw artist,” the bassist explained to the Irish Examiner in 2018. “We had a residency in the Rose of Lee pub in East London. The first night there were about 10 people. By the time we finished the residency, there were people out the street who couldn’t get in the door, it was so jammed."

Palmer played on every Bush album beginning with 1978’s Lionheart. He was also credited as an engineer on Hounds of Love (1985), The Sensual World (1989), The Red Shoes (1993) and Aerial (2005).

Beyond their musical collaborations, Palmer and Bush were romantically involved from the late ‘70s through the early ‘90s. The two broke up amicably and remained friends even after their romance ended.

More recently, Palmed released three solo albums: Leap of Faith (2007), Gift (2010) and Point of Safe Return (2015). In 2018 he toured the U.K. as part of a tribute group celebrating the 40th anniversary of Bush’s debut album.

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