Published Dec 31, 2018Mike Taylor, affectionately known as the "Beard Guy" in Canadian band Walk Off the Earth, has died. He passed away in his sleep last night (December 30) from natural causes.
His bandmates have shared a statement on social media, which reads in part: "It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved brother and band member, Mike 'Beard Guy' Taylor. Mike had a love for life that was unmatched and a willingness to give that went beyond ordinary means."
Taylor had two children, and the rest of the band made special mention of them, giving their sympathies to the kids, "whom he adored more than anything else in the world."
Originating in Burlington, ON, Walk Off the Earth first came to prominence with a cover of Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know" that featured all five band members playing on the same one guitar. They went on to release original material, earning multiple JUNO nominations and eventually winning Group of the Year in 2016.
In addition to vocals, Taylor contributed a wide range of instrumentation, including piano, keyboards, organ, xylophone, glockenspiel, melodica, trumpet, didgeridoo, accordion, kazoo, euphonium and slide whistle.
Walk Off the Earth were scheduled to kick off a world tour tonight at a New Year's Eve concert in Niagara Falls, but that performance has since been cancelled. It's unclear at time of press whether the band will carry on with their remaining tour dates.
Read Walk Off the Earth's full statement about Taylor below.