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Bon Jovi have been left "heartbroken" following the tragic death of the band's first bassist, Alec John Such.

The group – Jon Bon Jovi, David Bryan, Tico Torres, Phil X and Hugh McDonald – announced the death of the musician, 70, in an emotional statement on Instagram.

It read: "We are heartbroken to hear the news of our dear friend Alec John Such.

"He was an original. As a founding member of Bon Jovi, Alec was integral to the forming of the band.

"To be honest, we found our way to each other thru him – he was a childhood friend of Tico and brought Richie to see us perform.

"Alec was always wild and full of life. Today those special memories bring a smile to my face and a tear to my eye."

"We'll miss him dearly," it said.

Born in 1951, Alec originally played in an earlier band with former Bon Jovi star Richie Sambora.

Then in 1983 he was one of the founder members of the rock band, who are known for hits such as You Give Love A Bad Name, Livin' On A Prayer and Wanted Dead Or Alive.

However, he went his own way 11 years later in 1994.

Fans flocked to pay tribute after the sad news was announced.

"I cannot believe it… fly high," said one person on Instagram, while another said it was "heartbreaking".

"Rest In Peace sweet legend, you will truly be missed," said another fan of the chart-topping group who are best known for hits It's My Life and Livin' on a Prayer.

Someone else wrote: "OMG such sad news. Glad I got to meet this one of a kind human. Rest in peace Alec."

One posted: "I am so devastated, I am crying my eyes out. God bless Alex we will miss you always."

No cause of death has been announced.

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