The King Crimson and Emerson, Lake and Palmer frontman, whose festive track hit No 2 in 1975, passed away on Wednesday his manager Stewart Young confirmed on Facebook.
A statement said: “Yesterday, December 7th, I lost my best friend to a long and stubborn battle with cancer. Greg Lake will stay in my heart forever, as he always has been.”
In an interview shortly before his passing, due to be published before Christmas , Greg, of Bournemouth, spoke about his feelings on the commercialisation of the holiday period.
He said: “When Pete Sinfield and I wrote I Believe In Father Christmas it was about how Christmas had deteriorated and was in danger of becoming yet another victim of crass corporate financial exploitation.
He continued: “We never had any commercial or financial intentions, but of course now everyone wants to know how it feels to receive all the lovely royalties, which are apparently delivered by wheelbarrow by Santa himself, after a long day climbing down everybody’s chimneys.”
The respected musician was regarded as one of the founders of the prog rock scene.
Only nine months ago his bandmate Keith Emerson committed suicide.
Surviving bandmate drummer Carl Palmer, 66, lead the tributes saying: “It is with sadness that I must now say goodbye to my friend and fellow bandmate Greg Lake.