Keith Emerson
Keith Emerson

Celebrity Profile

Name: Keith Emerson
Occupation: Composer
Gender: Male
Height: 170 cm (5' 7'')
Birth Day: November 2, 1944
Death Date: Mar 10, 2016 (age 71)
Age: Aged 71
Country: England
Zodiac Sign: Scorpio

Social Accounts

Height: 170 cm (5' 7'')
Weight: in kg - N/A
Eye Color: N/A
Hair Color: N/A
Blood Type N/A
Tattoo(s) N/A

Keith Emerson

Keith Emerson was born on November 2, 1944 in England (71 years old). Keith Emerson is a Composer, zodiac sign: Scorpio. Find out Keith Emersonnet worth 2020, salary 2020 detail bellow.


He was known for incorporating a Moog synthesizer into his music, and became the first artist to go on tour with one.

Does Keith Emerson Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, Keith Emerson died on Mar 10, 2016 (age 71).

Net Worth

Net Worth 2020

$8 Million

Salary 2020

Not known

Before Fame

He studied classical music as a child.

Biography Timeline


Emerson was born on 2 November 1944 in Todmorden, West Yorkshire. The family had been evacuated from southern England during World War II, after which they returned south and settled in Goring-by-Sea, West Sussex. Emerson attended West Tarring School in Tarring. His father Noel was an amateur pianist, while his mother was not musical. They arranged piano lessons for Emerson when he was eight; he received tuition from "local little old ladies" and learned to read music. His studies in Western classical music largely inspired his own style in his professional career which often incorporated jazz and rock elements.


In 1967, Emerson formed the Nice with Lee Jackson, also of the T-Bones, David O'List, and Ian Hague, after soul singer P. P. Arnold asked him to form a backing band. After replacing Hague with Brian Davison, the group set out on its own, quickly developing a strong live following. The group's sound was centred on Emerson's Hammond organ showmanship and theatrical abuse of the instrument, and their radical rearrangements of classical music themes as "symphonic rock".


Emerson first heard a Moog when a record shop owner played Switched-On Bach for him. Emerson said, "My God that's incredible, what is that played on?" The owner then showed him the album cover. "So I said, 'What is that?' And he said, 'That's the Moog synthesizer.' My first impression was that it looked a bit like electronic skiffle." Without one of his own, Emerson borrowed Mike Vickers' Moog for an upcoming Nice concert at the Royal Festival Hall, London, with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Vickers helped patch the Moog, and the concert was a success. Emerson's performance of "Also sprach Zarathustra" (a composition most famous for its use in the 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey) was acclaimed. Emerson later explained, "I thought this was great. I've got to have one of these."

Occasionally Emerson used a pipe organ, when available, in live performances and on recordings. He played the Royal Albert Hall Organ at a show with the Nice on 26 June 1968, where the band controversially burned a painting of an American flag onstage to protest against the Vietnam War. The stunt caused a storm of objections in the US and the Nice received a lifetime ban from the venue.


Emerson became well known for his work with the Nice. Outside of the group, he participated in the 1969 Music from Free Creek "supersession" project that included Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck. For the session, Emerson performed with drummer Mitch Mitchell and bassist Chuck Rainey covering, among other tunes, the Eddie Harris instrumental "Freedom Jazz Dance".


In 1970, Emerson left the Nice and formed Emerson, Lake & Palmer (ELP) with bassist Greg Lake from King Crimson and drummer Carl Palmer from Atomic Rooster. After six months of focused rehearsal, the band played its first shows and recorded its first album, having quickly obtained a record deal with Atlantic Records. ELP became popular immediately after their 1970 Isle of Wight Festival performance, and continued to tour regularly throughout the 1970s. Not all were impressed, with BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel describing their Isle of Wight set as a "tragic waste of talent and electricity". Their set, with a half-million onlookers, involved "annihilating their instruments in a classical-rock blitz" and firing cannons from the stage. Recalling the gig in a 2002 interview, Emerson said: "We tried the cannons out on a field near Heathrow airport ... They seemed harmless enough. Today we would have been arrested as terrorists."

With ELP, Emerson used the Royal Festival Hall organ for the "Clotho" segment of "The Three Fates" on the 1970 eponymous debut album by ELP. He played this organ again in 2002 to open a Nice reunion tour show, but according to a reviewer, the organ failed to operate at the expected volume.


The Newcastle City Hall organ was used for the introductory section of Pictures at an Exhibition, recorded there live on 26 March 1971. Emerson was recorded playing the organ at St. Mark's Church in London for "The Only Way (Hymn)" on the 1971 ELP album Tarkus.


Emerson enjoyed flying as a hobby, and he obtained his pilot's licence in 1972. When Emerson moved to Santa Monica, California, in the mid-1990s, John Lydon, who had openly and harshly criticized ELP during the 1970s when Lydon was a member of the punk band Sex Pistols, was Emerson's neighbour. The two became friends, with Lydon saying in a 2007 interview, "He's a great bloke".


While other artists such as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones had used the Moog in studio recordings, Emerson was the first artist to tour with one. His use of the Moog was so critical to the development of new Moog models that he was given prototypes, such as the Constellation, which he took on one tour, and the Apollo, which had its début on the opening track "Jerusalem" on the 1973 album Brain Salad Surgery.


Following ELP's 1974 tour, the members agreed to put the band on temporary hiatus and pursue individual solo projects. During this time, Emerson composed his "Piano Concerto No. 1" and recorded it with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. According to Emerson, he was motivated by critical comments suggesting that he relied upon adapting classical works because he was unable to write his own music, and further motivated by the London Philharmonic "who weren't that helpful to begin with" and "had the attitude of 'What's a rock musician doing writing a piano concerto?'" Emerson said, "I wanted people to say, look, I'm a composer, I do write my own music, and what greater challenge than to write a piano concerto." The recording later appeared on ELP's album Works Volume 1. Emerson's concerto has since been performed by classical pianists, most notably Jeffrey Biegel, who has performed it several times and recorded it with Emerson's permission.


In 1976, while still in ELP, Emerson also released his first solo record, the single "Honky Tonk Train Blues" b/w "Barrelhouse Shake-Down". "Honky Tonk Train Blues", Emerson's cover of a 1927 boogie-woogie piano song by Meade Lux Lewis, reached No. 21 on the UK Singles Chart.


After ELP disbanded in 1979, Emerson pursued a variety of projects during the 1980s and 1990s, including solo releases, soundtrack work and other bands, including supergroup the Best. In the early 1990s, Emerson rejoined the reunited ELP, but the group broke up again by the end of that decade.


In December 1980 Contemporary Keyboard magazine announced, in their Fifth Annual Readers' Poll, that Emerson had—for the fifth time in a row—captured first place in two categories - '"Overall Best Keyboardist" and "Best Multi-Keyboardist". The five-time wins put Emerson in their "Gallery Of The Greats" for both categories. The same poll also saw Emerson take "Best Rock Organist" for the fourth time and "Best Lead Synthesist".


In 1981, Emerson released his debut solo album, Honky. Recorded in the Bahamas with local musicians, it departed from Emerson's usual style in featuring calypso and reggae songs, and was generally not well received, except in Italy where it was a hit. Emerson's subsequent solo releases were sporadic, including a Christmas album in 1988, and the album Changing States (also known as Cream of Emerson Soup) recorded in 1989 but not released until 1995, after several of its songs had already been re-recorded and released in different versions on ELP's 1992 comeback album Black Moon. Changing States also contained an orchestral remake of the ELP song "Abaddon's Bolero" with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and "The Church", which Emerson composed for the 1989 Michele Soavi horror film of the same name.


Emerson also toured briefly in 1990 with The Best, a supergroup including John Entwistle of The Who, Joe Walsh of the Eagles, Jeff "Skunk" Baxter of Steely Dan and The Doobie Brothers, and Simon Phillips. This project focused on covering songs from each of the members' past bands.


In 1991, ELP reformed for two more albums (Black Moon (1992) and In the Hot Seat (1994)) and world tours in 1992–1993. After the 1993 tour, Emerson was forced to take a year off from playing due to a nerve condition affecting his right hand (see Health issues). Following his recovery, ELP resumed touring in 1996, including a successful US tour with Jethro Tull, but broke up again in August 1998.


In 1993, Emerson was forced to take a year off from playing after he developed a nerve-related condition affecting his right hand that he likened to "writer's cramp" and that was also reported as a form of arthritis. According to Emerson, this coincided with his divorce, his Sussex home burning down, and financial difficulties. During his time off, he ran marathons, customised a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, and wrote film scores and his autobiography, Pictures of an Exhibitionist, which opens and closes with an account of his illness and subsequent arm operation. By 2002 he had regained full use of his hands and could play to his usual strength.


In 2000, Emerson was a featured panelist and performer at "The Keyboard Meets Modern Technology", an event honouring Moog presented by the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., in conjunction with a gallery exhibition celebrating the 300th anniversary of the piano. Emerson later headlined both the first and third Moogfest, a festival held in honour of Robert Moog, at the B. B. King Blues Club & Grill at Times Square in New York City, in 2004 and 2006 respectively.


In 2002 Emerson reformed and toured with the Nice, though performing a longer set of ELP music using a backing band including guitarist/vocalist Dave Kilminster. During the spring of 2010, he toured with Greg Lake in the United States and Canada, doing a series of "Intimate Evening" duo shows in which they performed newly arranged versions of the music of Emerson, Lake & Palmer, the Nice, and King Crimson as well as Emerson's new original composition. On 25 July 2010, a one-off Emerson, Lake & Palmer reunion concert closed the High Voltage Festival as the main act in Victoria Park, East London, to commemorate the band's 40th anniversary.


In 2004 Emerson published his autobiography entitled Pictures of an Exhibitionist, which dealt with his life up to his nearly career-ending nerve-graft surgery in 1993. In 2007, Emerson began working with Canadian independent filmmaker Jason Woodford to make a documentary film based on his autobiography. As of March 2016, production was still ongoing and the filmmakers were seeking funding to finish the film, according to the webpage of an artists' management company representing Emerson.


Emerson opened the Led Zeppelin reunion/Ahmet Ertegun Tribute Concert at the O2 Arena in London on 10 December 2007, along with Chris Squire and Alan White (Yes) and Simon Kirke (Bad Company/Free). The supergroup played a new arrangement of "Fanfare for the Common Man". Emerson also made a guest appearance in 2009 on Spinal Tap's album Back from the Dead, and played on several songs at Spinal Tap's "One Night Only World Tour" at Wembley Arena on 30 June 2009.


Emerson participated in the Nice's reunion tour and a 40th anniversary show for ELP, preceded by a short duo tour with Greg Lake. Apart from these reunions, he continued his solo career, releasing solo and soundtrack albums, touring with his own Keith Emerson Band, and making occasional guest appearances. Starting in 2010, he increasingly focused on orchestral collaborations. A documentary film based on his autobiography was reportedly in production at the time of his death in 2016.

Japanese composer Takashi Yoshimatsu worked with Emerson to create an arrangement of ELP's song "Tarkus", which premiered on 14 March 2010, performed by the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra. Yoshimatsu's arrangement has been featured in multiple live performances and two live recordings.

In September 2010, Emerson released a message stating: "During a routine medical examination, a colonoscopy revealed a rather dangerous polyp in my lower colon. It is the conclusion of the doctors here in London that I must undergo surgery immediately. Unfortunately, the timing of this urgent surgery does not allow me to start touring in early October because of the required period of hospitalization and recuperation. I must remain optimistic that all will turn out well".

In March 2010 Emerson received the annual Frankfurt Music Prize for his achievements, awarded in Frankfurt on the eve of the annual Musikmesse fair.


In September 2011, Emerson began working with Norwegian conductor Terje Mikkelsen, along with the Keith Emerson Band featuring Marc Bonilla and the Munich Radio Orchestra, on new orchestral renditions of ELP classics and their new compositions. The project "The Three Fates" was premiered in Norway in early September 2012, supervised by Norwegian professor and musician Bjørn Ole Rasch for the Norwegian Simax label. The work received its UK live premiere on 10 July 2015 at London's Barbican Centre, with the BBC Concert Orchestra, as part of the celebration of the life and work of Robert Moog.


Emerson made his conducting debut with Orchestra Kentucky of Bowling Green, Kentucky in September 2013. In October 2014, Emerson conducted the South Shore Symphony at his 70th birthday tribute concert at Molloy College in Rockville Centre, New York. The concert also featured the premiere of his Three String Quartets, and a performance of Emerson's "Piano Concerto No. 1" by Jeffrey Biegel.

In September 2013 Orchestra Kentucky of Bowling Green gave Emerson their Lifetime Achievement Award in the Arts and Humanities "for his role in bringing classical music to the masses".


One of Emerson's memorable live show stunts with ELP involved playing a piano suspended 15 to 20 feet in mid-air and then rotated end-over-end with Emerson sitting at it. This was purely for visual effect, as according to Greg Lake, the piano was fake and had no works inside. In a 2014 interview with Classic Rock Music journalist Ray Shasho, Emerson was asked about the origin of the "flying piano" and about the difficulty of performing while spinning in the air. He explained:

In 2014 Emerson was inducted into the Hammond Hall of Fame by the Hammond Organ Company.


Emerson died on 11 March 2016 in Santa Monica, California, of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. His body was found at his Santa Monica home. Following an autopsy, the medical examiner ruled Emerson's death a suicide, and concluded that he had also suffered from heart disease and from depression associated with alcohol. According to Emerson's girlfriend Mari Kawaguchi, Emerson had become "depressed, nervous and anxious" because nerve damage had hampered his playing, and he was worried that he would perform poorly at upcoming concerts in Japan and disappoint his fans.

Emerson was buried on 1 April 2016 at Lancing and Sompting Cemetery, Lancing, West Sussex. Although his death had been reported by news sources and an official Emerson, Lake and Palmer social media page as having occurred on the night of 10 March, his grave memorial gives his date of death as 11 March 2016.

Family Life

Keith had two sons, Aaron and Damon, with Elinor Emerson, whom he married in 1969 and later divorced.

🎂 Upcoming Birthday

Currently, Keith Emerson is 78 years, 7 months and 2 days old. Keith Emerson will celebrate 79th birthday on a Thursday 2nd of November 2023. Below we countdown to Keith Emerson upcoming birthday.


Recent Birthday Highlights

74th birthday - Friday, November 2, 2018

Keith Emerson – Beyond The Stars - Academy of St Martin in the Fields

We're proud to be part of this album, which celebrates the musical legacy of keyboard player, composer and pianist Keith Emerson.

Keith Emerson 74th birthday timeline

Keith Emerson trends


  1. Who is Keith Emerson ?
  2. How rich is Keith Emerson ?
  3. What is Keith Emerson 's salary?
  4. When is Keith Emerson 's birthday?
  5. When and how did Keith Emerson became famous?
  6. How tall is Keith Emerson ?
  7. Who is Keith Emerson 's girlfriend?
  8. List of Keith Emerson 's family members?

You might intereintereststed in

  1. Top 20 Composer celebrities in Argentina
  2. Top 20 Composer celebrities in Australia
  3. Top 20 Composer celebrities in Austria
  4. Top 20 Composer celebrities in Brazil
  5. Top 20 Composer celebrities in Bulgaria
  6. Top 20 Composer celebrities in Canada