Thursday, November 5, 2020

Former Uriah Heep member Ken Hensley dead at 75

Former Uriah Heep vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Ken Hensley died on November 4 at the age of 75.

The rocker’s brother, Trevor Hensley, broke the new via social media on Thursday.

“I am writing this with a heavy heart to let you know that my brother Ken Hensley passed away peacefully on Wednesday evening,” wrote Trevor. “His beautiful wife Monica was at his side and comforted Ken in his last few minutes with us.

“We are all devastated by this tragic and incredibly unexpected loss and ask that you please give us some space and time to come to terms with it. Ken will be cremated in a private ceremony in Spain so please don’t ask for information about a funeral.

“Ken has gone but he will never be forgotten and will always be in our hearts. Stay safe out there.”

After playing with a number of bands in the 1960s, Hensley joined Spice in 1969; shortly thereafter, the group changed their name to Uriah Heep and went on to release their debut album, “...Very 'Eavy ...Very 'Umble”, in 1970.

Hensley is credited with expanding the progressive sound of the UK outfit; he would go on to be the principal songwriter in the band, and delivered their biggest hit, “Easy Livin’” from 1972’s “Demons And Wizards”, while the group’s albums regularly charted in their homeland through most of the 1970s.

After the rocker left Uriah Heep in 1980, he continued to issue solo records while going on to work with Blackfoot, John Lawton and John Wetton, and appear on records by W.A.S.P., Cinderella and Bruce Cameron, among others, before forming his own band, Ken Hensley & Live Fire.

Uriah Heep founder Mick Box paid tribute to his former bandmate, saying: "I am in deep shock at the news Ken Hensley has passed away, and my sincere condolences go to his family and wife Monica. Ken wrote some amazing songs in his tenure with the band, and they will remain a musical legacy that will be in people’s hearts forever. RIP Ken."

Hensley’s former Uriah Heep bandmate, drummer Lee Kerslake, passed away in September of this year.

Hensley had recently finished work on a new project, “My Book Of Answers”, which is due for release in February 2021.