Christopher Russell Edward Squire (4 March 1948 – 27 June 2015) was an English musician, singer and songwriter. He was best known as the bassist and founding member of the progressive rock band Yes. He was the only member to appear on each of their 21 studio albums, released from 1969 to 2014.
Born in the Kingsbury area of London, Squire took an early interest in church music and sang in the local church and school choirs. After he took up the bass guitar at age sixteen, his earliest gigs were in 1964 for The Selfs, which later evolved into The Syn. In 1968, Squire formed Yes with singer Jon Anderson; he would remain the band’s sole bassist for the next 47 years. Squire was widely regarded as the dominant bassist among the English progressive rock bands, influencing peers and later generations of bassists with his incisive sound and elaborately contoured, melodic bass lines. His name was associated with his trademark instrument, the Rickenbacker 4001.
In May 2015, Squire announced a hiatus from Yes after he was diagnosed with acute erythroid leukemia and subsequently died on 27 June at his home in Phoenix, Arizona. The band’s first show of their tour with Toto on 7 August 2015 marked the first Yes concert ever performed without Squire. From 1991 to 2000, Rickenbacker produced a limited edition signature model bass in his name, the 4001CS. Squire released two solo albums, Fish Out of Water (1975) and Chris Squire’s Swiss Choir (2007), a Christmas album.
On 19 May 2015, Yes announced that Squire had been diagnosed with acute erythroid leukemia, and would take a break from performing while receiving treatment.
In the late evening of 27 June 2015, Squire died from the illness, aged 67, while receiving treatment in his adopted hometown of Phoenix, Arizona. Yes’ official Facebook page confirmed the news the next day. Tributes were paid by fellow musicians Brian May, Geezer Butler, Gene Simmons and Tom Morello, as well as bandmates Geoff Downes and Bill Bruford