LOS ANGELES — Original Duran Duran guitarist Andy Taylor was unable to attend his band’s induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on Saturday, revealing he had been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer.
Duran Duran’s lead singer, Simon Le Bon, took the news to the stage and read parts of an open letter from Taylor, 61. The audience at the Microsoft Theater gasped audibly at the news.
“Just over four years ago, I was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic prostate cancer,” Le Bon read from Taylor’s letter. “Many families have experienced the slow burn of this disease and of course we are no different. So I speak from a family man’s perspective, but with deep humility to the band, the biggest fans a group could have, and this exceptional accolade .”
Le Bon read another section detailing Taylor’s “huge disappointment” at missing the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ceremony after Duran Duran finally made the cut, after years of eligibility.
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“Let there be no doubt that I was excited about the whole thing, I even bought a new guitar with the necessary whammy! I am so very proud of these four brothers,” the letter read. “I am amazed at their durability and I am delighted to receive this award. I am really happy to be there to see this day.”
The full letter, “A Note From Andy”, has been posted on the band’s website.
In the letter, Taylor writes that he has the best doctors and life-prolonging medical treatment “which allowed me to continue until recently.” However, about a week ago, he had “a setback” that prevented him from traveling. “I had to be honest, both physically and mentally, I would push my limits.”
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“While my current condition is not immediately life-threatening, there is no cure,” Taylor wrote.
Duran Duran opened the Rock Hall ceremony on Saturday with an introduction by Robert Downey Jr.
Le Bon, guitarist/bassist John Taylor, drummer Roger Taylor and keyboardist Nick Rhodes played a medley of songs with their current touring guitarist Dom Brown. The group played a medley of biggest hits, including “Girls on Film,” “Hungry Like the Wolf” and “Ordinary World.”
After Duran Duran’s performance and Taylor’s letter, an emotional Le Bon on behalf of the band answered a backstage reporter’s question about the moment, according to Yahoo News.
Le Bon said: “It’s devastating for us to find out that a colleague – not a colleague, that’s the whole thing. A buddy, a friend, one of our family – won’t be there long. It’s absolutely devastating.”
“We love Andy very much and I’m not going to stand here crying. I think that would be inappropriate. But that’s how I feel,” said Le Bon. “So now we’ve got that (question) out of the way, can’t we go back to that?”
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Duran Duran’s Andy Taylor shares cancer diagnosis from Rock Hall event