July 23, 2024

Former Ozzy Osbourne and Uriah Heep drummer Lee Kerslake has died today (19th September) following a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 73.

Lee Kerslake’s former Uriah Heep band mate Ken Hensley broke the news in a statement he issued to the Ken Hensley fan club Facebook page this morning.

He wrote: “It’s with the heaviest of hearts that I share with you that Lee Kerslake, my friend of 55 years and the best drummer I ever played with, lost his battle with cancer at 03:30 this morning. He died peacefully, praise The Lord, but he will be terribly missed.

“I know many of you were praying for him not to suffer and I thank you for that and, now that Lee is at peace, our thoughts and prayers should turn to his wife Sue who will need all the support she can get at this time.”

Uriah Heep’s sole constant member Mick Box has also confirmed Lee Kerslake’s passing to Planet Rock.

Mick told us: “Lee was one of the kindest men on earth, as well as being a brother he was an incredible drummer, singer and songwriter!

“He had a passion for life bar none and was much loved by the fans, as well as anyone who crossed his path! Rock in peace my friend and say hi to David,Gary, John and Trevor for me! Love Mick x”

Lee Kerslake had been battling prostate cancer for a number of years and in December 2018 Lee revealed he was terminally ill and his cancer had spread to other parts of his body.

“I now have bone cancer which is nasty one, so the Doctor gave me about eight months to live,” Kerslake revealed to The Metal Voice.Uriah Heep - SFL Music Magazine

“But I’ve been fighting all the way. Five years ago, they gave me four years to live and so that gives you an idea. Not only have I got bone cancer I’ve got psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis and two heart murmurs.”

Upon his terminal diagnosis Kerslake made peace with Ozzy Osbourne following their bitter legal disputes over royalties in the eighties and nineties and personally penned a letter to Ozzy and Sharon asking them to send him a Platinum album certification for ‘Blizzard of Ozz’ and ‘Diary of a Madman’ to hang on his wall before he dies.

Lee Kerslake said at the time in 2018: “I went belly-up bankrupt when I lost the case to Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne in the courts it costs me hundreds of thousands and I had to sell the house and then starting to get ill. I never managed to get back up but a platinum certification on my wall for these albums would be fantastic and it would say I help create those albums.”

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