SHAUN Ryder’s brother and Happy Mondays bassist Paul has died suddenly aged 58.
The musician was found dead today just hours before the band were due to play at Kubix Festival in Sunderland.
The circumstances of Paul’s death are not known.
Shaun, 59, and Paul were the original founders of The Happy Mondays – who have hits including Step On and Loose Fit.
Tributes have poured in to "legend" Paul, with loved ones saying he will be "forever missed".
On the group's official Facebook page, a tribute read: "The Ryder family and Happy Mondays band members are deeply saddened and shocked to say that Paul Ryder passed away this morning.
"A true pioneer and legend. He will be forever missed.
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"We thank you for respecting the privacy of all concerned at this time."
Paul previously struggled with addiction and was open about his use of heroin in the band’s early days.
He said before: "We couldn’t have Calpol for the kids. I’d drink the lot."
Paul hit a low when his youngest son, Chico, was diagnosed with cancer aged just ten.
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Paul said of that time: "I found myself coaching him on how to inhale cannabis vapour from a vaporising machine.
"My drug problems are well documented. I nearly lost my life. But it was cannabis that saved my son’s."
Paul also spoke openly about his brotherly rivalry with Shaun – who he started The Happy Mondays with in 1980.
He said: "Yes, Shaun is a lyrical genius but sometimes I look across at him on stage and think, ‘What a knob.
"The wild tales of what we got up to recording our fourth album in Barbados were all myths and spoofs."
Paul went on to say the pair had enjoyed a healthy sibling rivalry since their youth.
The guitarist, who lived in France, said of Shaun: "When I was three he pushed me off my bike and I needed hospital treatment.
"I still have the scars on my hands and it still makes me mad when I look at them.
"It was always going off between us.
"I was around nine when he took a psycho-swing at me with his new golf club and split my head open."
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As well as starring The Happy Mondays, Paul had a brief foray into film – including Losing It.
He also appeared in a film about the band. Called 24 Hour Party People, where he played a gangster.
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