Mike Taylor, keyboardist and vocalist of Canadian band Walk Off the Earth, known as the “Beard Guy,” has died, the band confirmed Sunday. “It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved brother and band member, Mike ‘Beard Guy’ Taylor,” the band said in a statement on Twitter. “Mike had a love for life that was unmatched and a willingness to give that went beyond ordinary means.”
The band said that he passed away peacefully from natural causes last night while in his sleep. He has left two children.
Walk Off the Earth, from Burlington, Ont., became famous in 2012 after posting a cover of Australian artist Gotye’s Somebody that I Use to Know, with all five bandmates playing the song on a single guitar.
It became one of the most-watched clips on YouTube in 2012 and has since gained over 185 million views since being posted January 6, 2012, with viewers especially taking notice of Taylor on the far right and his stoic appearance. “6 years later, I still want to become as majestic as the beard guy,” one viewer commented eight months ago.
The band had planned on kicking off a world tour with a set at CBC’s New Year’s Eve celebration in Niagara Falls Monday, but a representative for the band said they will no longer be performing tomorrow. The show, which also features The Sheepdogs and Burton Cummings, will still go on.