KISS has paid tribute to guitarist Bob Kulick following his shock death at the age of 70, saying the band is "heartbroken".

The legendary guitarist, who is best known for his work with KISS, Lou Reed, Diana Ross, W.A.S.P. and Meat Loaf, was confirmed to have passed away on Friday by his brother, former KISS guitarist Bruce Kulick. A cause of death has yet to be confirmed.

Bruce Kulick said in a post on Twitter: "I am heartbroken to have to share the news of the passing of my brother Bob Kulick.

"His love of music, and his talent as a musician and producer should always be celebrated.

"Please respect the Kulick Family's privacy during this sad time. RIP."

The KISS Twitter account retweeted his post and wrote: "We are heartbroken. Our deepest condolences to the Kulick family in this difficult time."

Kulick, from Brooklyn in New York, never became an official member of KISS but appeared on four albums - Alive II, Unmasked, Killers and Creatures Of The Night.

In 1972, when KISS were starting out, he auditioned to become lead guitarist and impressed the band's Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley and Peter Criss, but lost out to Ace Frehley.

He recorded and performed with Meat Loaf, Diana Ross and Michael Bolton, and featured on Lou Reed's acclaimed album Coney Island Baby.

Kulick also co-wrote and performed the SpongeBob SquarePants song Sweet Victory, which appeared in the 2001 episode Band Geeks, and became a fan favourite.