Kansas Co-Founder Robby Steinhardt Dead At 71

Robby Steinhardt with KANSAS film music video circ June 1982

Photo: Archive Photos

Kansas founder, violinist and vocalist Robby Steinhardt has died following a brief illness, according to his family. He was 71 years old.

"Robert Eugene Steinhardt was well recognized as a founding member and original violinist and vocalist for the rock band Kansas," a statement reads. "His violin and vocals on 'Dust in the Wind,' 'Point of No Return' and 'Carry on Wayward Son' have etched Robby a solid place in rock history."

Steinhardt was a member of Kansas from its inception in 1973 until his first departure in 1982. He returned to the band in 1997 and stayed on until his retirement from touring in 2006.

Prior to his passing, he was plotting a comeback, rehearsing for a national tour and preparing a solo album. His family writes that the album was slated for release later this year.

"He will be deeply missed by all he knew and his music will last forever," his family said. "A memorial will be announced in the future."

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