Lee Kerslake, who was the drummer for rock band Uriah Heep and also played on two Ozzy Osbourne albums, has died aged 73 after a battle with prostate cancer.
Former Uriah Heep keyboardist Ken Hensley announced his death through a message shared with fans on Facebook.
Osbourne was among those who also paid tribute, saying: “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. Lee Kerslake RIP.”
Uriah Heep member Mick Box wrote: “Lee was one of the kindest men on earth, as well as being a brother he was an incredible drummer, singer and song writer!
“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.”
Kerslake was born in Bournemouth in 1947 and joined Uriah Heep in 1972, going on to record nine studio records with the band before leaving in 1978.
He then joined Osbourne’s solo project to record two albums, Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman, in the 1980s.
Osbourne sent the platinum album certifications for Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman to Kerslake as his final wish.
Lee was one of the kindest men on earth, as well as being a brother he was an incredible drummer, singer and song writer!
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
Love Mick x pic.twitter.com/oq4hbEcNck
— Uriah Heep (@uriah_heep) September 19, 2020
Hensley told fans: “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.”