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Former IRON MAIDEN singer BLAZE BAYLEY suffers heart attack, postpones live shows


British heavy metal vocalist Blaze Bayley, who fronted IRON MAIDEN from 1994 to 1999, has been hospitalized after suffering a heart attack.

Yesterday (Sunday, March 26), Mark Appleton and Christopher Appleton, who handle the management and concert bookings for Blaze‘s solo band, released the following statement via social media: “We sincerely regret to announce that Blaze had a heart attack at home yesterday evening & is now in hospital in a stable condition, awaiting news of further surgery/treatment. He is in good spirits in the circumstances but utterly disappointed to have to postpone our imminent shows due in March & April. Ticket refunds will be available at source but we truly hope you will keep your tickets & make it to the new dates which we will be announcing as soon as they are scheduled.

“Regarding shows already booked for June-November this year, we understandably have to wait a short while to see how quick Blaze‘s recovery will be, so please stay tuned & meanwhile most importantly we’re sure you will join us in wishing him a complete & speedy recovery.

Blaze misses you, cannot wait to regain full health & see you all again.

“Every Storm Ends… ‘your heart will heal’.

“Thank you so much everyone for your understanding & support.”

Blaze‘s bandmates in WOLFSBANE issued a separate statement, saying: “Last night our brother and friend Blaze Bayley had a heart attack whilst at home. He’s in hospital in a stable condition, awaiting news of further treatment. We have spoken to him earlier today and he seemed in good spirits, despite the ordeal he’s been through.

“All our love and thoughts are with Blaze and his family.

“We’ll update you all when we know more.”

The two MAIDEN albums Bailey appeared on, “The X Factor” and “Virtual XI”, sold considerably less than the band’s prior releases and were their lowest-charting titles in the group’s home country since 1981’s “Killers”.

Since leaving IRON MAIDEN in 1999, Bayley has released a number of albums, including several under the moniker BLAZE and more than a handful under his own name. He also appeared on 2012’s “Wolfsbane Saves The World”, the first album of new material by WOLFSBANE since the group’s self-titled 1994 effort, and a follow-up LP, 2022’s “Genius”.

Blaze‘s latest studio album, “War Within Me”, came out in April 2021. The LP was recorded during 2020 with work split between Blaze‘s studio at home in the West Midlands and Christopher Appleton‘s studio in Greater Manchester.

Earlier this month, Blaze told Metal Planet Music ‘s Gary Spiller about some fans’ initial reluctance to embrace his era of MAIDEN: “I think that the girlfriend or partner analogy is the best. It’s when your girlfriend or boyfriend leaves you for someone, and they are perhaps slimmer with more hair, more interesting and better looking, it doesn’t feel good. And you lose your favorite singer from your favorite band, and I think that’s awkward as well.

“There’s a certain percentage of fans from that era, I’m their first MAIDEN singer, and I always will be, and they’ll always have that affection for me,” he continued. “But there’s another group of fans who go, ‘My favorite singer left my favorite band. I don’t want to look at the replacement.’ … And what is good is that after so many years and the ‘Senjutsu’ album coming out, people have good back and they’ve looked at the Blaze Bayley era of (1996’s ‘best-of’ album) ‘Best Of The Beast’ and ‘Sign Of The Cross’‘The X Factor’, they’ve done that, and they’ve come back with a different look. And then they check out what I’m doing now.

“Since (leaving) MAIDEN, I’ve made 11 studio albums of my own. It’s over 25 years ago (that I joined MAIDEN); it’s nearly 30 years now. It’s just five years (that I was with MAIDEN). With WOLFSBANE, we’re back together, and we’re together longer than I was in IRON MAIDEN.

“It’s nice that it’s so well thought of and people are still interested,” Blaze added. “I’ve learned a lot. The experiences that I had have affected me and I’ve learned. And if you listen to my ‘War Within Me’ album, my new album, you can tell the IRON MAIDEN influence on that; you can absolutely tell. I’m not ashamed of it. I’m, like, well, this is what I enjoyed and learned in MAIDEN, and you’ll hear parts of that and hints of that in the ‘War Within Me’ album. You’ll also hear the development of me as an artist, going beyond that.

“So it’s nice that people are still interested in that brief part of the MAIDEN history that contains me. And a lot of people think very nicely of me. But there are still a lot of people that absolutely hate me.”

Blaze went on to say that his era of MAIDEN still plays a big part in his live show, particularly as he nears the three-decade mark since he first joined the band.

“What’s nice is that when I do my anniversary setlist, which a lot of festivals asked for, then I can play songs in my set from those two albums that MAIDEN have never played and will never play,” he explained. “And they are my songs, personal to me. So that’s really, really cool. So if you did get into those albums and you like those albums, then you’ll come and see me and go, ‘Oh, actually, I’ve never heard‘Como Estais Amigos’ live.’ So it’s a really cool thing.

“Last year, we got a lot of really wonderful German festivals, and we played the anniversary setlist. And then afterwards, on my own tour, people came that saw me on that anniversary setlist and the festivals, they came and saw me do my Blaze Bayley concerts and really enjoyed it. And they got into ‘War Within Me’ album and my trilogy and a lot of things. So it’s good, really.

“I’m very lucky to have actually had the top job in my field, to have attained the absolute top,” Bayley added. “For me, I wanted to be a heavy metal singer, and by some quirk of faith, a lot of luck and a lot of help, then I managed to become the lead singer of IRON MAIDEN, which, for me, is the top job in the world for a heavy metal singer. And I got that job. So that’s fantastic that I was able to get that. And I played huge venues all over the world and stadiums and theaters and everything.”

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