It's been a sad few days for Canadian music fans. Mike Taylor, the keyboard player and singer of Ontario pop outfit Walk Off The Earth has passed away. According to a statement released by bandmates over the weekend, the songwriter affectionately known as "Beard Guy" died peacefully in his sleep on Saturday night.
"It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved brother and band member," reads a post shared on via the group's social media platforms. "Mike had a love for life that was unmatched and a willingness to give that went beyond ordinary means. He passed peacefully from natural causes last night in his sleep. Our deepest sympathies are with his two children, whom he adored more than anything else in the world. We ask for privacy for his family in this trying time."
Walk Off The Earth initially gained notoriety in 2012 when they uploaded a cover of Gotye's smash hit "Somebody That I Used to Know" onto YouTube. Shortly after that unique spin went viral, the group discovered success with original material — their major label debut, R.E.V.O. has sold more than 51,000 copies and earned them a JUNO Award nomination for Breakthrough Group of the Year.
Official cause of death has not been determined. Taylor appeared publicly and in pictures as recently as Christmas Eve. Walk Off The Earth was scheduled to play in Niagara Falls along with Canadian icon Burton Cummings as part of CBC's live New Year's Eve special, ad the band was also slated to tour in February. They have yet to provide an update on those upcoming dates, but have requested privacy during this difficult time.