Toto bassist Mike Porcaro dies at age 59

Story highlights

Mike Porcaro was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease, ALS, in 2006

Members of Toto rallied to help him

ALS affects nerve cells of brain and spinal cord

CNN  — 

For over two decades, bassist Mike Porcaro was a rock star with the band Toto, playing venues around the world.

Now, the music world is mourning the death of Porcaro, who died after a battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS. He was 59.

“Our brother Mike passed away peacefully in his sleep at 12:04 AM last night at home surrounded by his family,” Porcaro’s brother Steve, the band’s keyboardist, posted on Facebook on Sunday. “Rest in peace, my brother,”

About 10 years ago, Porcaro started noticing weakness in his fingers and hands. He was diagnosed with the disease in 2006.

Former members of his band – known for hits such as “Africa” and “Rosanna” – rallied to help. They reunited for a brief European tour in 2010 in support of Porcaro.

Toto vocalist and guitarist Steve Lukather also called Porcaro a brother.

“My brother Mike Porcaro is now now at peace,” he tweeted. “I will miss him more than I could ever put into words. My deepest love to the family. God Bless”

ALS is a fast-moving, usually fatal disease of the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. It affects more than 30,000 people at any given time.