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Toto bassist Porcaro dies at 59 of Lou Gehrig's Disease

Porcaro played in the band between 1982 and 2007, when the disease made it too difficult to continue.

By
Doug G. Ware
Mike Porcaro, bassist for the 1980s supergroup Toto, died March 15, 2015 at the age of 59 of Lou Gehrig's Disease. Photo: Toto-VEVO/YouTube
Mike Porcaro, bassist for the 1980s supergroup Toto, died March 15, 2015 at the age of 59 of Lou Gehrig's Disease. Photo: Toto-VEVO/YouTube

LOS ANGELES, March 16 (UPI) -- Mike Porcaro, the bass player best known for playing with his two brothers in the band Toto, died Sunday at the age of 59 after battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis -- also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.

Porcaro became a member of the band around the time of the group's biggest success, in 1982, joining his siblings Jeff (drummer) and Steve (keyboardist) in the group. He was the son of noted percussionist Joe Porcaro.

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Porcaro stopped touring with Toto in 2007 after the disease became known and began to make it physically difficult for him to continue playing bass guitar.

Younger brother Steve posted the news of Mike's death in a Facebook post Sunday.

"Our brother Mike passed away peacefully in his sleep at 12:04 AM last night at home surrounded by his family. Rest in peace, my brother," Steve Porcaro's post said, USA Today reported.

Steve Lukather, also a member of Toto, expressed his sadness in a tweet Sunday.

"My brother Mike Porcaro is now now at peace. I will miss him more than I could ever put into words. My deepest love to the family. God Bless," he said.

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Porcaro died at his home in Los Angeles. He was preceded in death by his older brother Jeff, who died in 1992 of heart failure brought on by cocaine use, the Los Angeles Medical Examiner ruled then.

Mike Porcaro joined the band in time for the group's most successful album, Toto IV, which spawned three Billboard top 10 singles, sold in excess of three million copies, earned seven Grammy awards and became one of the best-selling albums of the 1980s.

He was inducted alongside his band mates in the Musician's Hall of Fame in 2009. Toto reformed and began touring the following year to raise money for Porcaro and ALS awareness, Rolling Stone reported.

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