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Men at Work's Greg Ham found dead

April 19, 2012 | 12:00 pm

Men at WorkMulti-instrumentalist Greg Ham, known best for his work in Australian pop band Men at Work, has been found dead in his home near Melbourne, according to numerous reports out of Australia. Ham's body was found by two friends who grew concerned after not hearing from the artist for a week, according to The Australian.

Ham was believed to be 58, and was with Men at Work throughout the '80s, when the band had international success with singles such as "Who Can It Be Now?" and "Down Under." Ham played the well-known flute riff on "Down Under," which reached No. 1 on the U.S. pop charts in 1982. The song is found on the chart-topping Columbia album "Business as Usual." 

Yet while "Down Under" is perhaps the band's most iconic song, in recent years it was in the headlines for plagiarism. In 2011, the band lost a court bid to prove that it did not lift the flute line from an Australian children's song, "Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree."

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Ham left a distinctive mark on Men at Work's other major hit, as he contributed the sax solo to "Who Can It Be Now?" Numerous press outlets have quoted a statement from Men at Work frontman Colin Hay, in which he praised the "Who Can It Be Now?" solo as a perfect rehearsal take. 

"We played in a band and conquered the world together," Hay is quoted as saying in a statement given to Fox News. "I love him very much. He's a beautiful man."

Men at Work's official Facebook page has posted the following statement: "Such a beautiful soul who had time for everyone and never did he judge a single soul. God bless you forever, till we meet again, goodbye darling."

Ham had recently been working as a music teacher, and police were said to be investigating the cause of death.

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-- Todd Martens

Image: Colin Hay and Greg Ham. Credit: Tony Mahoney

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