Dee Cernile, guitarist for the '90s-era Canadian hard rock band Sven Gali, died on Saturday, Feb. 25, at the age of 46, Billboard reports. The rocker had been battling lung cancer, a disease he was diagnosed with in 2009.

"Dee was a great guitarist, singer, and songwriter who always wore his heart on his sleeve," David Bendeth, the exec who signed Sven Gali to BMG Canada and produced their 1992 self-titled debut, told Billboard. "His love of music and life made him a true rockstar. He will be missed by many that had the great fortune to work with him and hear that great infectious laugh. He was larger than life."

Sven Gali is best remembered for that first album, which went Gold in Canada and earned the group Juno Award nominations for Hard Rock Album of the Year and Most Promising Group.

They returned in 1995 with 'Inwire,' which featured members of Candlebox and Blind Melon. The group split up in 1996 but reunited in the late '00s, staging benefits for Cernile after his illness was made public. According to the guitarist's Facebook page, he'd been working on a new record toward the end of his life.

"It wont be another Sven Gali record, but it will rock," he wrote. "New name coming soon, maybe ya'll can help."

According to a Facebook post attributed to musician Liane Conway, Dee wanted a "celebration of life" party, not a funeral, and that event will likely take place in April.