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Gregory Stuart Lake (10 November 1947 – 7 December 2016) was an English singer, songwriter, bassist, guitarist and record producer. He gained prominence as a founding member of the progressive rock bands King Crimson and Emerson, Lake & Palmer (ELP). Born and raised in Dorset, Lake began to play the guitar at the age of 12 and wrote his first song, "Lucky Man", at the same age. He became a full-time musician at 17, playing in several rock bands until his friend and fellow Dorset guitarist Robert Fripp invited him to join King Crimson as lead singer and bassist. They found commercial success with their influential debut album, In the Court of the Crimson King (1969). Lake left the band in 1970 and achieved significant success in the 1970s and beyond as the singer, guitarist, bassist, and producer of Emerson, Lake & Palmer (ELP). As a member of ELP, Lake wrote and recorded several popular songs including "Lucky Man" and "From the Beginning". Both songs entered the UK and US singles charts. Lake launched a solo career, beginning with his 1975 single "I Believe in Father Christmas" which reached number two in the UK. He went on to release three solo albums with his Greg Lake Band with guitarist Gary Moore, recorded 1981 through 1983 (two studio albums, one live album), as well as collaborating and performing with other artists and with various groups in the 1980s, had occasional ELP reunions in the 1990s and in 2010, and toured regularly as a solo artist into the 21st century. He also sponsored other artists, producing their recordings and helped them to get recording contracts. He also was a fundraiser for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. He died on 7 December 2016 in London, of pancreatic cancer, at the age of 69.
In late 1974, Lake moved from a flat in Cornwall Gardens in Kensington, London to a home near Windsor. Lake later lived in the Kingston and Richmond areas of Greater London with his wife Regina. The couple had one daughter, Natasha.
Greg Lake was born on 10 November 1947 in the Parkstone area of Poole in Dorset, to Harry, an engineer, and Pearl, a housewife. He grew up in the residential suburb of Oakdale. Speaking about his childhood, Lake said he was "born in an asbestos prefab housing unit" into a "very poor" family, and remembered several cold winters at home, but credits his parents for sending him money and food during his time as a struggling musician. He later described his upbringing as a happy one.Lake discovered rock and roll in 1957 when he bought Little Richard's "Lucille". At the age of 12, he first learned to play the guitar and wrote his first song, "Lucky Man", which he didn't write down, simply committing it to memory. He named his mother, a pianist, as his initial musical influence and she bought Lake a second hand guitar to learn on. Lake then took guitar lessons from Don Strike, who had a shop in Westbourne. Strike taught him "these awful Bert Weedon things", reading musical notation exercises with violin pieces by Niccolò Paganini, and playing 1930s pop tunes, the latter of which became an influence on Lake at the time. After roughly one year with Strike, Lake ended his tuition as he wished to learn songs by the Shadows, a favourite band of his, but Strike "wouldn't have any of it". Lake's second guitar was a pink Fender Stratocaster.Lake attended Oakdale Junior School followed by Henry Harbin Secondary Modern School, and left the latter in 1963 or 1964. He then took up work loading and unloading cargo at the Poole docks, and as a draughtsman for a short period. Lake then decided to become a full-time musician at the age of 17.
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