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 Michael Hossack appears in a 2010 photo posted on the Doobie Brothers official website. - Provided courtesy of doobiebrothers.net

Doobie Brothers drummer Michael Hossack dies at age 65

03/13/2012 by Carollyn Nguyen

Michael Hossack, a drummer for the rock band The Doobie Brothers, recently died at age 65 after battling cancer.

The group confirmed the news on its website, saying that Hossack passed away on Monday at his home in Dubois, Wyoming.

"His family was by his side," the message said, "Our thoughts and condolences go out to his family and loved ones. We will miss him greatly."

He was born in Paterson, New Jersey on October 17, 1946, his website bio reads, adding that he was "a real baby boomer." He began playing the drums when he was 12.

During the Vietnam War, he served in the Navy and had intended to start a career in law enforcement in 1969 but ended up auditioning for a band named Mourning Reign. The group moved to California and signed a record contract. The group disbanded and another group, The Doobie Brothers, invited Hossack to join. The band is known for hits such as "Long Train Runnin,'" "Black Water" and "Listen to the Music."

Hossack left The Doobie Brothers in 1973. Keith Knudsen, who replaced him, died of pneumonia in 2005 at age 56. He also battled cancer a decade beforehand.

Hossack rejoined The Doobie Brothers in 1987, after band members invited him to perform at benefit concerts for Vietnam War veterans. In 2010, he went on a medical absence, as did touring bassist Skylark, who suffered a stroke. Skylark said a message posted on the group's website in January of this year that he continues to "make strides down the road to recovery."

In May 2011, a website message said Hossack was "doing well after chemotherapy," adding: "He is in full remission at this time, and is getting his strength back. He plays drums daily in his home studio."

Hossack was known to friends as 'Big Mike' and is survived by his son, Mike Jr. and daughter Eric Rose Oliver, The Lake County News reported.

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