Gerard Smith, bass player for the band TV on the Radio died Wednesday from lung cancer at the age of 36. The band let their fans know about the sad news on their website, “We are very sad to announce the death of our beloved friend and band mate, Gerard Smith, following a courageous fight against lung cancer. We will miss him terribly.” It was announced that Smith had cancer about five weeks prior to his death. Smith and the rest of the band all felt he would overcome the disease since improvements were seen.
Gerard was discovered in 2008 by fellow band mate, Tunde Adebimpe, on a subway platform in Brooklyn, New York. Smith was a subway performer prior to joining the band. In an interview, Gerard explains, “I saw Tunde in the movie ‘Jump Tomorrow’ on IFC. And I was super addicted to film at that time. A year later, I was playing on the subway platform here, at the Bedford stop, and he kept giving me money. And then I was like, I recognize this guy. Then it finally clicked, and I said, ‘Dude you were in that movie! I loved that movie!’ That film had meant a lot to me, especially because there was a black actor that wasn’t in the ghetto, and there weren’t a lot of politics. He was being a human being and not only a black actor. And that meant a lot to me.”
TV on the Radio have canceled their upcoming shows due to the tragedy.