Uriah Heep singer Ken Hensley dead at 75

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Uriah Heep singer Ken Hensley dead at 75: Composer and poet behind iconic British rock band dies 'suddenly' while in midst of creating new solo album

Ken Hensley, 75, was best known for his work with 1970s rock band Uriah HeepHe died peacefully at home on Wednesday evening, according to brother KenThe singer-songwriter was creating a new solo album at the time of his death

By James Robinson for MailOnline

Published: 11:37 GMT, 5 November 2020 | Updated: 11:56 GMT, 5 November 2020

Ken Hensley, best known for his work with 1970s rock band Uriah Heep, has died at the age of 75, his family have announced.

The English singer-songwriter passed away peacefully on Wednesday evening, according to his brother Ken Hensley.

He was said to be creating a new solo album at the time of his death. 

In a statement on Facebook, he 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.

'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.

He added: 'Stay safe out there.'

Hensley was born in Plumstead, south-east London, in August 1945, before moving with his family to Hertfordshire. 

He self-taught guitar at the age of 12, before playing his first gig, aged 15, at The Mentmore Pen Factory, in Stevenage.

Hensley joined the band Spice, with bass guitarist Paul Newton, as a keyboard player in 1969.

The band, which also featured guitarist Mick Box and vocalist David Byron, later changed their name to Uriah Heep.

Under the new name, and the classic line-up, including Hensley, Box, Byron, drummer Lee Kerslake and bassist Gary Thain, the band saw huge success.  

They recorded 13 studio albums, and the live album along with many compilations and singles.

Hensley, who through Uriah Heep found a place to develop and showcase his songwriting and lyrical abilities as well as his keyboard and guitar,  also recorded his first two solo albums during that time. 

There were Proud Words on a Dusty Shelf (1973) and Eager To Please (1975). 

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