LONDON (Reuters) -- Tributes flowed in on Friday for John Entwistle, bass guitarist with rock group The Who, who died of a suspected heart attack on Thursday.
The group was about to begin a North American tour when Entwistle was found dead in a Las Vegas hotel.
"The entire Who family is terribly saddened by John's passing," said manager Bill Curbishley.
"Our deepest sympathies go out to his family, friends and the millions of Who fans the world over," he said in a statement.
Fellow Who members Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey were said to be too upset to comment, but they posted a message to their friend, affectionately called "the Ox."
"The Ox has left the building--we've lost another great friend. Thanks for your support and love. Pete and Roger," they wrote on Townshend's Website (www.petetownshend.co.uk.).
Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones, another bassist, called Entwistle "a great friend for many years--the quietest man in private but the loudest onstage!
"He was unique and irreplaceable--I am shocked and devastated, he said.
Fan sites also carried many tributes; www.thewho.net changed its front page in Entwistle's honor.
"Dear John, Thank you for all the wonderful music and wonderful times. You will live forever in our hearts and our minds. Sincerely, Scott C. Smith," the page read.
Entwistle's family said his death had left "an irreplaceable void," and thanked fans and friends for their support.
"We, his family, are deeply grateful for the many tributes and messages of condolence that we have received," they said.
"He will be mourned deeply by his family and many friends... it is a terrible loss to all who knew him and his many, many fans," the family said in a statement.