Soft Machine founder Kevin Ayers dies in France

LONDON (AP) — Kevin Ayers' record label says the influential Soft Machine founder has died in France. He was 68.

Jack McLean, assistant to the managing director of Lo-Max Records, said Thursday that Ayers' body had been discovered in his bed at his home in the medieval village Montolieu in the south of France.

"We believe he died Feb. 18 of natural causes and was found two days later," said McLean. "He hadn't been ill, but he lived a rock 'n' roll lifestyle and everything that comes with that."

Ayers and Robert Wyatt formed Soft Machine in 1966, taking the name from a William Burroughs novel.

He also had a lengthy solo career and made many collaborative records.

The record company said Ayers is survived by three daughters and a sister.

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