The official cause of death has not yet been released but Montrose had been battling prostate cancer. The official statement on his website reads as follows:
Ronnie Montrose ~ 1947-2012
A few months ago, we held a surprise party for Ronnie Montrose’s 64th birthday. He gave an impromptu speech, and told us that after a long life, filled with joy and hardship, he didn’t take any of our love for granted.
He passed today. He’d battled cancer, and staved off old age for long enough. And true to form, he chose his own exit the way he chose his own life. We miss him already, but we’re glad to have shared with him while we could.
Prior to Montrose, he was featured on Van Morrison’s debut album Tupelo Honey, was a member of the Edgar Winter Group and collaborated on 2 albums with Sammy Hagar who eventually left to pursue a solo career and stint in Van Halen. Ronnie kept active releasing several albums as a solo artist as well as with the band Gamma.
Rest in peace Ronnie!