Cape Town-120912-Jonathan Butler (left) performs at the Grand Arena as part of his Evolution tour. With him, for the first time in more that 30 years, is Ronnie Joyce (right). Picture Jeffrey Abrahams

THE local music fraternity is mourning the loss of musician Ronnie Joyce.

Joyce, pictured, had been ill for the past few weeks.

Messages of support poured in on social networking sites.

In September last year Joyce performed in a reunion show with Jonathan Butler and Lionel Petersen at Grand West’s Grand Arena in Butlers’ “Evolution” show.

The legendary performers had reunited after 35 years – having last performed together in a time when the country was in political turmoil.

Petersen was shocked to hear news of his close friend’s death.

“I don’t really know what happened, I’m still trying to process his loss, I hardly know anything about what actually happened to him,” Petersen said.

EspAfrika’s CEO Rashied Lombard said Joyce’s passing was “a shock and very sad.”

Lombard said he had known Joyce “as a kid in the 60s” and that although they did keep in touch too often during the years he last connected with him when he performed with Jonathan Butler.

“When I saw him, I realised that his voice never changed and he looked like the same 23-year-old I remembered,” he said.

“It’s very sad – his passing.”

Joyce also performed in a tribute show to Zayn Adam who celebrated 50 years in show-business and which was also held at the Grand Arena.

TV personality Ursula Chikane tweeted: “Rest in peace, Ronnie Joyce. Twas an absolute treat to see you on stage with Jonathan Butler last year.”