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Rock Band Bassist Battling Lung Cancer

The bass player with rock band TV on the Radio is battling lung cancer and will be unable to participate in its upcoming tour, the group said in an upbeat statement on Tuesday.

Gerard Smith was diagnosed with cancer after the band had finished recording its new album "Nine Types of Light," which is scheduled for an April 12 release.

"Gerard is fortunate enough to have health insurance and is receiving excellent medical care," the statement said. "Already we have seen dramatic results. Combine that with Gerard's legendarily willful disposition and it might just be cancer that has the problem. We appreciate your concern and support for Gerard and his family."

After heading to Austin for a few showcases at the South by Southwest music festival this week, the band will kick off a spring tour in Philadelphia on April 8.