Ronnie Hawkins has died at the age of 87.

The Canadian rock and roll star – who was a founding member of the Hawks and is best known for hits like ‘Who Do You Love?’ and ‘Mary Lou’ – passed away on Sunday after reportedly suffering from a long illness.

His wife Wanda told Canadian Press: “He went peacefully and he looked as handsome as ever.”

The ‘Ruby Baby’ hitmaker – who was also part of The Band and played backing for music legend Bob Dylan before going on on to have a career as a talent scout later in life – was remembered by SiriusXM host Eric Alper as “the single most important rock and roller in the history of Canada”, who claimed that he will be “deeply missed.”

He tweeted: “Ronnie Hawkins, the single most important rock and roller in the history of Canada, has passed away at age 87.

The Band, Dale Hawkins, Bob Dylan and thousands of others wouldn’t be the same without him.

Music wouldn’t be the same. He will be deeply missed, and thank you, Hawk.” (sic)

Ronnie – who is also survived by his two children Robin and Ronnie Jr. – had often been called the father of Canadian rock and roll and the city of Toronto named October 4 Ronnie Hawkins Day back in 2002 in honour of his induction into Canada’s Walk of Fame.

Over the course of his career, Ronnie released 25 albums and back in 1996 was given the Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award for his contributions to the music industry.