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Mike Taylor, a band member with the indie group Walk off the Earth who was affectionately known as “Beard Guy,” has died.
The sad news was confirmed by the band on its social media pages. The official cause of death was not yet clear, but the band said that Taylor died from natural causes in his sleep. CBC reported that Taylor passed away on Saturday, December 29, 2018. The band had recently announced it would be playing on New Year’s Eve in Niagara Falls to launch a world tour.
Taylor was a vocalist and keyboardist for the Canadian group. He leaves behind two children.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Band Expressed Its ‘Profound Sadness’ Over Taylor’s Death
The Canadian group posted a short tribute to Taylor, announcing his death on its Facebook page.
“It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved brother and band member, Mike “Beard Guy” Taylor,” the post reads.
“Mike had a love for life that was unmatched and a willingness to give that went beyond ordinary means. He passed peacefully from natural causes last night in his sleep. Our deepest sympathies are with his two children, whom he adored more than anything else in the world. We ask for privacy for his family in this trying time.”
Taylor’s Last Facebook Post Expressed a Love for ‘O Holy Night’
Taylor’s last Facebook post came on December 23, 2018, in which he wrote, “O Holy Night is hands down my fave Christmas song.” As recently as Christmas Eve, there was no sign anything was wrong. The band posted a photo including Taylor to its Instagram page, writing, “It’s Christmas Eve!!! We wish all our fans a safe and Happy Holiday! We love you all so much and we hope to see you at a show in the New Year 🎆🎄 #HappyHolidays #MerryChristmas .”
On Facebook, Taylor wrote that he was a “Musician at Walk Off The Earth” who “Studied El Magnifico Matador at Universität zu Köln” and lives and is from Burlington, Ontario.
According to Music.com, Walk Off the Earth is a Canadian indie-pop group.
On its Facebook page, the band explains what its name means, writing, “We often get asked what the meaning behind our band name is. What does Walk Off the Earth mean? More than anything else, it’s a state of mind. When you’re deeply entranced by a collection of musical compositions and your day-to-day stresses become a lot less bothersome, you’ve walked off the earth. You forget that your boss is a dick-weed, that your neighbor is a racist…or even that your girlfriend has been spending a little too much time with your best friend! You let the pulsing rhythm, the soaring melodies and the lush harmonies take you away to a place where nothing can affect you. Walk Off the Earth with us!”
Fans Offered Tributes & Sympathies on Facebook
Fans of the group expressed great shock to hear that Mike Taylor had died. “So sorry for the loss of your beloved band mate and brother. I literally had to read this 3 times to make it stick in my head and I still don’t understand. He was such an amazingly talented and genius musician. My thoughts and prayers are with all the WOTE family. And especially his family at this time. Now I’m gonna listen to his Christmas CD and remember him in a positive way! 💔” wrote one woman on the band’s comment thread.
Wrote another woman, “My heart is breaking for his family, the WOTE family and Crew, and all the Wotelings who loved Mike so so much including my family. Now I am so happy and blessed to have seen him ‘live’ on Christmas via Instagram and live in concert twice this year. He was so good with kids. I will always remember watching him with a young girl after the show in Orlando taking photos and showing her the stage. His love for music and the piano and sharing that love with others will become his legend. RIP Mike Taylor. We loved you more than you will ever know. 💔”
Another fan wrote simply, echoing the words of others: “My deepest sympathies to his family and band family! He will never be replaced.”
According to Canada.Rapida.co, Wall Off the Earth is most famous for :their cover of Gotye’s Somebody That I Used to Know,” which went viral on YouTube in 2012.