The musician and composer lost his battle with a rare form of cancer on Tuesday.
According to a statement issued on his Facebook page, Corea was only diagnosed with the illness “very recently”, and he even prepared a final message for fans as he realised the end was near.
In the online post, his representatives wrote: “He was a beloved husband, father and grandfather, and a great mentor and friend to so many.”
They shared: “though (Corea) would be the first to say that his music said more than words ever could, he nevertheless had this message for all those he knew and loved, and for all those who loved him.”
Corea’s accompanying note read: “I want to thank all of those along my journey who have helped keep the music fires burning bright.”
He went on: “It is my hope that those who have an inkling to play, write, perform or otherwise, do so. If not for yourself then for the rest of us. It’s not only that the world needs more artists, it’s also just a lot of fun.”
Praising his “amazing musician friends who have been like family to me as long as I’ve known you,” Corea added: “it has been a blessing and an honor learning from and playing with all of you. My mission has always been to bring the joy of creating anywhere I could, and to have done so with all the artists that I admire so dearly – this has been the richness of my life.”
The jazz composer rose to fame in the 1960s, working with the likes of Stan Getz and Herbie Mann.
He soon joined forces with Miles Davis and helped him embrace a more contemporary sound, exhibited on releases like B**ches Brew.
Corea also formed his own band, Return to Forever, and collaborated with musicians like vibraphonist Gary Burton, Brian Blade, and Christian McBride.
His most recent album was the live release Plays, which dropped last year.