Saskatoon’s music community is feeling the loss of beloved musician Justin Lee.
Known as “Juice” to many fans, Lee was a guitarist and vocalist for Saskatoon band The Steadies.
The group was known for creating the “island rock” genre, which draws from pop-rock, dub-funk, rock steady and reggae.
The 40-year-old died Tuesday after being admitted to the Intensive Care Unit at Royal University Hospital. Details of what happened have not been made public.
“We are sad to say we have all lost a true brother today. He will be truly missed by his family, fans and friends,” The Steadies wrote in a Facebook post.
“Those of you who got the chance to meet him or listen to his music, know how special of a human he was. You will be forever missed our friend. Peace and love Juice.”
Love and support has poured in over social media from friends and family, with fans taking to the band’s Facebook page.
“Our hearts are broken,” wrote Heather Mattar.
“It is with a very heavy heart that I hear of this loss. What a sweet and gentle soul to lose at such a young age,” posted Nancy Davis. “Passing along healing love to his band of brothers, his friends and family.”
“The world has lost one of the most talented sound engineers and musicians. Justin, thank you for everything, You are missed,” Steven Hawes wrote on Lee’s Facebook page.
Lee’s life was celebrated Tuesday night at one of his favorite weekly events: open mic at Capitol Music Club in Saskatoon.
The Steadies had recently finished a China-Korea tour, and last month released the video for their new single, “Love Revolution.”
Last year the group toured with Bob Marley’s legendary band, The Wailers. They have also been showcased at the Grey Cup and Winter Olympics.
The Steadies were recipients of Rawlco Radio’s 10K20 grant in 2011. The annual program awards 20 Saskatchewan artists $10,000 to record an album.