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TV On The Radio bassist Gerard Smith has died:


Smith joined TV on the Radio in 2003, two years after they formed. He told Spin Magazine that, before joining the band, he could be found performing on flamenco guitar in New York City subway stations. 

But his career as a busker ended when he was informed that, if he continued to busk without a permit, he'd risk jail time. He made a smart move -- TV on the Radio quickly became synonymous with street cred and, yet, virtually every critic seemed to adore them as well. The Thin White Duke himself, David Bowie, made a rare appearance on TV on the Radio's 2006 release, 'Return to Cookie Mountain,' while their 2008 follow-up, 'Dear Science,' was named album of the year by a number of prestigious publications, including Rolling Stone, Spin, MTV and Entertainment Weekly. 

 The group revealed that it was canceling its next five concerts and that more information would be announced soon. TV on the Radio are currently touring behind their recently released fifth album, 'Nine Types of Light.' Smith was diagnosed with cancer shortly after the recording sessions wrapped and had been undergoing treatment while the band was on the road.

Given how much love the band gets around these parts, this is worth a moment.
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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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