Veteran metal drummer Lee Kerslake has tragically passed away at the age of 73.
The legendary beatman, who drummed on Ozzy Osbourne’s classic solo albums and was also a longtime member of Uriah Heep, died this week following a lengthy battle with prostate cancer.
The Prince Of Darkness himself has paid tribute to Kerslake on social media, writing: “It’s been 39 years since I’ve seen Lee but he lives for ever on the records he played on for me, Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman. RIP”.
While a statement on the Uriah Heep Facebook page reads: “What can I say that hasn’t been said already. The guy with the big heart, who I had the immense pleasure of having worked with for so long, has left the building. Go on Lee, don’t know how I’ll ever forget you. One of the last things we laughed at was the old saying we knew so well… ‘hurry up and wait.’ R.I.P. Lee Kerslake.”
According to Kerslake’s former Uriah Heep bandmate Ken Hensley, the musician “died peacefully”.
“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,” he said.
Back in 2018, Kerslake announced he had been battling cancer and that he had “about eight months to live”.
He added that one of his dying wishes was to receive his platinum records for Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman from Ozzy.
One month later, Ozzy did indeed send Kerslake his platinum records, then shared an image of the drummer holding the framed awards.
“I’m so glad that Lee Kerslake is enjoying his Blizzard and Diary platinum albums,” Ozzy wrote at the time. “I hope you feel better. Love, Ozzy.”
RIP Lee Kerslake.
I’m so glad that Lee Kerslake is enjoying his Blizzard and Diary platinum albums. I hope you feel better.