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Ozzy Osbourne and Uriah Heep Drummer Lee Kerslake dead at 73


Ozzy Osbourne and Uriah Heep Drummer Lee Kerslake dead at 73

Lee Kerslake, the longtime drummer for the metal band Uriah Heep who also played on Ozzy Osbourne’s first two solo albums, died Saturday at the age of 73 following a long battle with prostate cancer.

Kerslake’s former Uriah Heep bandmate Ken Hensley confirmed the drummer’s death in a statement (via Louder), “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.”

Uriah Heep guitarist Mick Box wrote on Facebook, “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!”

Kerslake served as drummer on both of Osbourne’s revered albums with guitarist Randy Rhoads, 1980’s Blizzard of Ozz and 1981’s Diary of a Madman; Kerslake died one day shy of the 40th anniversary of Blizzard of Ozz.

Following Kerslake’s terminal cancer diagnosis, the drummer and Osbourne resolved their issues, with Osbourne recognizing Kerslake’s contributions by sending him platinum records.

“I’ve written to Sharon and Ozzy recently, a personal letter basically asking them to kindly send me platinum album certifications for Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman, to hang on my wall before I die. It’s on my bucket list. I hope they will come to terms with it and say yes. I went belly-up bankrupt when I lost the case to Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne in the courts,” Kerslake said (via Ultimate Classic Rock). “It costs me hundreds of thousands and I had to sell the house, and then started to get ill. … But a platinum certification on my wall for these albums would be fantastic. … It would say I helped create those albums.”

In January 2019, Osbourne obliged:

Kerslake and Daisley’s contributions were later restored on the 30th anniversary editions of the LPs. Following his split from Osbourne, Kerslake — with Daisley briefly in tow — rejoined Uriah Heep for a stint that ran from 1982’s Abominog through his semi-retirement from the band in 2007.

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