Ardolino stepped in to replace Terry Adams, NRBQ's original drummer, in 1974, and remained behind the kit until the band's 2004 hiatus.
He performed at several "reunion" shows and lent his support to Adams when the latter reformed the group in 2011 and reclaimed the NRBQ name.
"Friends, We regret to inform you that Tom Ardolino passed away today. Tom will be missed but his spirit lives on through those who were touched by him," the band posted Jan. 6 on the NRBQ Headquarters page on Facebook.
No cause of death was reported, but NRBQ.com posted in December that "Tom Ardolino is presently dealing with a number of health issues and is expected to be in the hospital for some time."
Ardolino died one week shy of what would have been his 57th birthday.