A statement said the group and family are “deeply saddened and shocked to say that Paul Ryder passed away this morning”. He stated that he was “a true pioneer and legend”, adding: “He will be missed forever … long live his funk X”.
The band rose to prominence in the “Madchester” era in the late 1980s and early ’90s with hits such as Step On and Kinky Afro.
They personified the city’s intoxicating acid house scene with a mix of funky rock grooves and dance rhythms that attracted clubs and indie fans.
Happy Mondays split after the drug-induced chaos of the sessions for their fourth album, Yes Please, in Barbados, and the Ryder brothers both battled heroin addiction.
The group reformed in 1999, but Paul Ryder left after falling out with his brother, and he did not rejoin until another reunion in 2012.
They have recently been back on tour and were due to headline the Kubix festival in Sunderland on Friday.
Organisers said: “Following the tragic news of Paul Ryder passing away this morning, The Happy Mondays will no longer be playing tonight’s show and our thoughts remain with the band and Paul’s family at this difficult time.”