Page last updated at 10:31 GMT, Monday, 25 May 2009 11:31 UK

Ex-Wilco member Jay Bennett dies

A former member of US band Wilco, who was suing the band over a royalties claim, has died at his home in Illinois at the age of 45.

Jay Bennett worked as a sound engineer and played instruments for the band between 1994 and 2001.

No official cause of death has been given but his record company said "he died in his sleep".

"Jay was a beautiful human being who will be missed," said a message from the Undertow Music Collective.

Bennett filed his legal action against Wilco lead singer Jeff Tweedy at the beginning of May, claiming $50,000 (£33,160) for five albums he made with the group.

Changing line-up

He was also claiming royalties for the band's 2002 documentary I Am Trying to Break Your Heart, which was about the making of Wilco's album Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.

At the time Tweedy said he had "no idea what these claims are based on".

"I am truly sad it has come to this. I am equally convinced that I have done nothing wrong and that this will be handled fairly and swiftly," he added.

The rock group was formed in 1994, and Tweedy has remained one of the few constant members in a frequently changing line-up.

In a statement, the band say: "We will miss Jay as we remember him - as a truly unique and gifted human being and one who made welcome and significant contributions to the band's songs and evolution."

Wilco won two Grammy Awards in 2005, including best alternative music album for A Ghost Is Born.

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