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Rainbow bassist Craig Gruber dead at 63

His church confirms death after battle with cancer

Original Rainbow bass player Craig Gruber has died of cancer at the age of 63.

Gruber passed away in Florida, USA, on Tuesday while under the care of members of the Faith Tabernacle Church, who tell TeamRock they had been looking after him for the last six months of his life. He had been battling prostate cancer for some time.

Senior Pastor at the church, Steve Anderson, says: "Our friend and brother in Christ, Craig Gruber is now with Jesus. He passed away about 3.20pm. Thank you all for your prayers of faith."

Gruber played on Rainbow's first album Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow and was also a member of Elf alongside Ronnie James Dio. He later worked with Dio on the Black Sabbath album Heaven And Hell after Geezer Butler opted not to continue with the band following Ozzy Osbourne's departure.

But Gruber's involvement with Sabbath came to an end before the record was made as Butler had a change of heart. Gruber later toured with Gary Moore in the 1980s and formed the band Bible Black with former Rainbow drummer Gary Driscoll.

Craig Gruber, left, pictured with Pastor Steve Anderson and his wife Deborah Anderson in December last year.

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