Musician collapses during birthday concert finale and dies

ATLANTA (AP) – Artists and fans are mourning the loss of musician Col. Bruce Hampton, who collapsed on stage while performing the encore at his star-studded 70th birthday bash in Atlanta.

Many in the audience thought Hampton was joking around as he lay motionless on stage, but the forefather of the jam band scene never rose to his feet Monday night and was later pronounced dead at a hospital.

After Hampton collapsed, drummer Jeff Sipe, who was on the bill with members of the Rolling Stones, Widespread Panic, Phish and other bands, took to the microphone to thank fans and say that they had to attend to something backstage.

Sipe says Hampton smiled at him moments before he collapsed and he believes the musician was saying goodbye.

Sipe noted that Hampton had a heart attack in 2006, had been on numerous medications and had been playing gigs constantly.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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