Italian composer Ennio Morricone has passed away at the age of 91, his lawyer Giorgio Assumma confirmed. The talented composer died on Monday at a clinic in Rome, having suffered complications after breaking his leg in a fall just days earlier.
Morricone penned more than 500 scores for movies and television programs, including instantly recognisable tunes from the likes of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966), Once Upon a Time in The West (1968), The Untouchables (1987), Cinema Paradiso (1988) and The Hateful Eight (2015).
He also bagged numerous awards for his work throughout his career, including two Oscars – one for his work on The Hateful Eight and another in recognition of his contributions to the industry – as well as three Golden Globes, six BAFTAs and two Grammy Awards. He also sold more than 70 million records worldwide.
When he wasn’t penning world-renowned cinematic scores though, Morricone also arranged music for a number of 1960’s pop stars, including Demis Roussos, Francoise Hardy and Mina.
Tributes poured in for Morricone following the sad news, with Metallica’s James Hetfield writing: “The day we first played ‘The Ecstasy of Gold’ as our new intro in 1983 it was magic! It has become apart [sic] of our blood flow, deep breathing, fist bumping, prayers and band huddle pre-show ritual ever since.”
Antonio Banderas said: “With great sadness, we say goodbye to a big master of cinema. His music will keep playing in our memories. Rest in peace.” While director Edgar Wright wrote on Twitter: “Where to even begin with iconic composer Ennio Morricone? He could make an average movie into a must see, a good movie into art, and a great movie into legend. He hasn’t been off my stereo my entire life. What a legacy of work he leaves behind. RIP.”
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