Andrew Lloyd Webber's oldest son, Nicholas "Nick" Lloyd Webber, has died. He was 43.
"I am shattered to have to announce that my beloved elder son Nick died a few hours ago in Basingstoke Hospital," Andrew, 75, said in a statement shared with PEOPLE Saturday. "His whole family is gathered together and we are all totally bereft."
"Thank you for all your thoughts during this difficult time," the iconic composer and impresario added.
Nick's death comes a week after Andrew shared in a statement on March 18 that his son was "critically ill" with gastric cancer.
He said at the time that he was "absolutely devastated" about his son's diagnosis.
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"As my friends and family know, he has been fighting gastric cancer for the last 18 months and Nick is now hospitalized," Andrew wrote last week. "I, therefore, have not been able to attend the recent previews of Bad Cinderella and as things stand, I will not be able to cheer on its wonderful cast, crew and orchestra on opening night this Thursday."
"We are all praying that Nick will turn the corner," the Phantom of the Opera legend continued. "He is bravely fighting with his indomitable humor, but at the moment my place is with him and the family."
Andrew gave an update on his son's health in a video posted to social media on March 23 that began, "I wanted to thank you, first, for the huge outpouring of messages of support for my son, Nick. He's now been moved into hospice and he's battling away."
"I think he's over the worst of this first bout of pneumonia he's got as a result of his cancer, which is just ghastly," the musician and father of five continued. "But we're all here and the family here has gathered around, and it was the right place for us all to be, I think."
And while he was "absolutely gutted" not to be at the opening night of Bad Cinderella on Broadway, Andrew added, "My place is here in England, at the moment."
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A Grammy-nominated composer himself, Nick notably scored the BBC One series Love, Lies and Records, the film The Last Bus and the short Mr. Invisible. He earned a Grammy nomination after scoring Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cinderella's original cast album in 2021.
The son of Andrew and Sarah Hugill, whom Andrew was married to from 1971 to 1983, had been carving out his own path for several years.
In 2011 and 2012, Nick saw his musical adaptation of The Little Prince performed at the Lyric Belfast. At the time, he said he was "very nervous," aware that there'd be some "attention" on him.
"But I'd just like to think that the show will be judged on its own merits," he told The Telegraph in 2011. "That's all anyone can ask for."
As for his connection to his famous father, "For a long time, I dropped the Lloyd bit — to see what the reaction would be," Nick also said. "I got some stuff on the radio, so I thought, 'Okay, I'm obviously not a complete idiot.' Then I thought, 'Hang on, if other people are prepared to work with me without the surname, then maybe I should just get on with it.' "
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