CHICAGO, IL. (THECOUNT) — Stephan Ellis, the Survivor bassist who played on the iconic track, “Eye Of The Tiger,” has passed away. He was 69.
Survivor longtime guitarist, Frankie Sullivan, confirmed Ellis’ death on the band’s Facebook.
No cause of death was revealed, reports RollingStone on Saturday.
“We are devastated to hear that Stephan Ellis has passed away,” Sullivan wrote. “Steph was the guy who was only interested in the music. He absolutely had a special charm with the fans and within the band. I loved much when it came to Steph.”
Survivor formed in 1978, but Ellis didn’t join the band until the early Eighties. The bassist arrived in time to help the group record their 1981 album, Premonition, which featured their first Top 40 hit, “Poor Man’s Son.” One year later, Sylvester Stallone approached Survivor to record a song for Rocky III, resulting in the band’s signature smash, “Eye of the Tiger.”
“Eye of the Tiger” topped the Billboard Hot 100 for six weeks, while the band’s 1982 LP of the same name peaked at Number Two on the albums chart. The track won the Grammy for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group and was even nominated for Best Original Song at the 1982 Oscars.
Survivor’s previous lead singer Jimi Jamison, who joined in 1984, died at age 63.