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05 November 2020 14:36

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Uriah Heep keyboard player Ken Hesley has died aged 75, his heartbroken family has confirmed. Ken's brother Trevor shared the sad news in a Facebook post on Thursday, revealing that he passed away suddenly yesterday. The musician was progressive rock band Uriah Heep's keyboard player from 1970 to 1980. Trevor confirmed that Ken had passed away peacefully with his family by his side and a private funeral will be held for him in Spain. Ken was born Born Kenneth William David Hensley in London on August 24 1945.

He joined guitarist Mick Box and singer David Byron in the band when it was called Spice in 1970. Ken wrote or co-wrote the majority of Uriah Heep's songs until he left the band in 1980. Ken Hensley, best known as Uriah Heep's keyboard player and chief songwriter from 1970 to 1980, has died. "I am writing this with a heavy heart to let you know that my brother Ken Hensley passed away peacefully on Wednesday evening," Trevor Hensley wrote. "His beautiful wife Monica was at his side and comforted Ken in his last few minutes with us.

Ken will be cremated in a private ceremony in Spain so please don't ask for information about a funeral. Born Kenneth William David Hensley on August 24, 1945, the keyboard player first attracted the national spotlight as a member of The Gods, who featured future Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor, and recorded two albums, 1968's Genesis and 1969's To Samuel A Son, for Columbia Records. Hensley joined guitarist Mick Box and vocalist David Byron in the band Spice in February 1970: shortly afterwards, the Londoners changed the group's name to Uriah Heep. "We'd actually recorded half the first album [1970's classic …Very 'Eavy… Very 'Umble] when we decided that keyboards would be good for our sound," Mick Box recalled. Hensley wrote or co-wrote the majority of Uriah Heep's songs until his departure from the band in 1980, including the hit singles Easy Livin', Stealin', Lady In Black and Free Me. He wrote the band's biggest hit, Easy Livin' from 1972's Demons And Wizards album, in just 15 minutes.

A huge radio hit in America, it pushed the Demons and Wizards album to number 23 on the Billboard 200 album chart. We were in the north of England, driving down to London to listen to some recordings in the studio before going to the airport to fly to America and someone said, 'This is easy living, isn't it?' as a joke, a piss-take. Hensley recorded 13 studio albums with Uriah Heep before exiting the band in September 1980 following the release of their Conquest album. That same year he released his third solo album, Free Spirit, having released 1973's Proud Words on a Dusty Shelf and 1975's Eager To Please while still a member of Heep. Hensley moved to America in 1980, and later joined Rickey Medlocke in southern rockers Blackfoot, recording two albums, 1983's Siogo and 1984's Vertical Smiles.

Hensley continued to release solo album after relocating to Spain at the start of the new millennium: his last solo studio album was 2012's Love & Other Mysteries. URIAH Heep star Ken Hensley has died "suddenly" aged 75. The English singer-songwriter passed away with wife Monica at his side on Wednesday. 4 Uriah Heep star Ken Hensley has died 4 Ken, second right, with his Uriah Heep bandmates Credit: Getty - Contributor He was working on a solo album at the time of his tragic death. Ken co-wrote and sang on the majority of rock band Uriah Heep's hits in the 1970s - including Lady in Black, Easy Livin' and Stealin'. He was born in Plumstead, South East London, and began playing guitar aged 12 - with his first gig just three years later. Ken joined band Uriah Heep - then known as Spice - as a keyboard player in 1969. His death comes just months after the band's drummer Lee Kerslake died following a battle with prostate cancer. Most read in Showbiz 'HELP MY HARV' Katie Price reveals Harvey now weighs almost 29st as she begs for gym kit 'HE LOVES IT' Danielle Lloyd says one-night stand website is 'spicing up' her marriage SOAP VS REALITY How soap stars' homes compare to their characters' - from Tiffany to David LAID BARE Naked Attraction contestant, 23, WALKS OFF after seeing nude women for first time 'so sad' Kate Ferdinand hits back at follower who slated her for calling step kids 'family' DEVIL WOMAN Rita Ora looks devilishly good as she strips to red PVC bodysuit for Halloween Ken had paid tribute to his former bandmate at the time, saying: "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 3.30 this morning," Hensley wrote in a statement to Louder. 4 Ken joined the band as a keyboard player in 1969 British singer-songwriter Ken Hensley, the Uriah Heep star, died suddenly aged 75 yesterday. The rock musician was reportedly working on his solo album at the time of his death. I am writing this with a heavy heart Ken Hensley's brother "I am writing this with a heavy heart to let you know that my brother Ken Hensley passed away peacefully on Wednesday evening," his heartbroken brother said. He continued: "His beautiful wife Monica was at his side and comforted Ken in his last few minutes with us. Ken Hensley dies aged 75 while working on solo album Ken Hensley died with his wife Nicola by his bedside Trevor told his friends and followers he will be cremated in a private ceremony in Spain. Ken rose to fame after co-writing and singing the majority of Uriah Heep's hits in the 1970s. Their hit singles included the likes of Lady in Black, Easy Livin' and Stealin'. The singer was known as Spice in the band and first joined as a keyboard player in 1969. Ken Hensley began playing the guitar when he was just 12-years-old Ken Hensley paid a tribute to drummer Lee Kerslake who died just months ago from prostate cancer "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 3.30 this morning," he said in a statement to Louder. "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." Ken was first discovered as a member of The Gods, who featured Rolling Stones' guitarist Mick Taylor, and recorded two albums. Uriah Heep band member Ken Hensley has died aged 75, it has been confirmed. Working on an album before he died, the keyboard player's death was said to be "sudden," with the musician passing away "peacefully". His brother Trevor confirmed his death in a Facebook post shared on Thursday, revealing his wife had been by Hensley's side when he died. The post said: "I am writing this with a heavy heart to let you know that my brother Ken Hensley passed away peacefully on Wednesday evening. "His beautiful wife Monica was at his side and comforted Ken in his last few minutes with us. "Ken will be cremated in a private ceremony in Spain so please don't ask for information about a funeral. The news will come as a blow to fans of Uriah Heep's music, with the London group as major players in the progressive rock scene in the 70s and 80s. Getting his first taste of music aged 12 when he learned to play the guitar, Hensley played the keyboard for the group for a decade, joining the band in 1970. Striking out by himself, Hensley left the group when he felt unhappy with the musical direction they had taken, and spent the following years touring the US. At the time of his death, the Londoner was said to be working on a solo album while living in Spain with his beloved wife Monica. His Uriah Heep bandmate Lee Kerslake, who played the drums, sadly died earlier this year after his battle with prostate cancer came to a tragic end. Paying tribute to Lee at the time, Hensley 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 3.30 this morning," Hensley wrote in a statement to Louder. "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."

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