Mark Sheehan, guitarist and co-founder of Irish band The Script, has died at the age of 46.
The band said he passed away in hospital on Friday after a brief illness.
"The family and group ask fans to respect their privacy at this tragic time," the group tweeted.
Much loved husband, father, brother, band mate and friend Mark Sheehan passed away today in hospital after a brief illness. The family and group ask fans to respect their privacy at this tragic time. pic.twitter.com/x9hM4byVT9
— the script (@thescript) April 14, 2023
The Script were founded in Dublin in 2001 with Sheehan on guitar, his childhood friend Danny O'Donoghue as the lead singer and Glen Power on drums.
Sheehan and O'Donoghue, who had known each other since they were both 13, had initially left Dublin for Los Angeles to pursue careers in music.
While in the US the pair worked in songwriting and producing, before returning to Ireland where they recruited Power to the band.
Their first album, 'The Script', peaked at number one in both Ireland and the UK in 2008, with their debut single 'We Cry'.
Another song from the album, 'The Man Who Can't Be Moved', reached number two in the singles charts.
Their follow-up album, 'Science and Faith', was released in 2010 and also hit number one in Ireland and the UK.
Their third, named '#3', was released in 2012, also topped the charts.
That same year the trio also teamed up American singer Will.I.Am for 'Hall of Fame', which surpassed a landmark one billion streams on Spotify.
Three more albums followed - 'No Sound Without Silence', 'Freedom Child' and 'Sunsets & Full Moons' - all of which reached number one in the album charts.
They have sold more than 20 million albums worldwide, while their music has featured on a number of popular TV shows.
They are ranked #384 in the world on Spotify, with over 13 million monthly listeners.
'Impact across the world'
President Michael D Higgins said all those who knew him, and millions more who enjoyed and appreciated his music, will have been "deeply shocked to hear of his too-early death."
"It was a mark of the originality and excellence that Mark and his bandmates in The Script sought that they saw such success across the world," President Higgins said.
"It was a great honour and a privilege when I had the opportunity of hosting Mark and The Script when they performed at Áras an Uachtaráin in 2013 as part of my initiative Glaoch - The President’s Call, which celebrated Irish creativity and its reach and impact across the world.
"Through their music, Mark and The Script have played an outstanding part in continuing and promoting this proud tradition of Irish musical success across the world," President Higgins added.
Fellow Irish band Kodaline paid tribute, calling him "such a lovely man."
So sorry to hear the passing of Mark Sheehan! We had the great fortune of getting to spend time in his company over the years and was always such a lovely man! Deepest condolences to his family and his @thescript brothers
— Kodaline (@Kodaline) April 14, 2023
Arts Minister Catherine Martin said his death is "a great shock to music lovers everywhere."
News of the sudden loss of Mark Sheehan is a great shock to music lovers everywhere and to The Script’s legions of fans around the world. My deepest condolences to his family, fellow band members and friends. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam. https://t.co/i0bxaAWzqt
— Catherine Martin TD (@cathmartingreen) April 14, 2023
Additional reporting: IRN