British guitar legend Jeff Beck died on Tuesday at the age of 78, after “suddenly contracting bacterial meningitis,” his family said.

“On behalf of his family, it is with deep and profound sadness that we share the news of Jeff Beck’s passing,” the guitarist’s family said in an announcement posted to social media on Wednesday.

“After suddenly contracting bacterial meningitis, he peacefully passed away yesterday,” the statement further explained. “His family ask for privacy while they process this tremendous loss.”

Beck’s sudden death comes as a surprise to many, as he was recently seen performing a series of shows in England, alongside his longtime friend, actor Johnny Depp, after the Pirates of the Caribbean star’s victory over Amber Heard in the United States.

The guitar legend, who rose to fame in the 1960s with the English rock band The Yardbirds, is considered “one of the greatest guitarists of all time,” the Hollywood Reporter noted.

Beck holds the record for the most Grammys for Best Rock Instrumental Performance, with six wins. He has also been won Best Pop Instrumental Performance, and was inducted twice to The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

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Condolences poured in on social media, following the announcement of Beck’s death.

“A sad day for music,” guitarist Nick Perri wrote. “The Jeff Back Group LP, opening with Ice Cream Cakes was the first blues rock album i ever heard. It had a tremendous impact on me. Still does. RIP to a legend amongst legends.”

“I’m completely gutted, a true guitar genius and a sweet man,” guitarist Davey Johnstone commented. “Love and sympathy to his family.”

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.

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