Lee Kerslake (April 16, 1947 – September 19, 2020) was an English musician, best known as the longtime drummer and backing vocalist for the rock band Uriah Heep and for his work with Ozzy Osbourne in the early 1980s.
Lee Kerslake was born in Dorset, England, and at the age 11, he began playing drums and got his first professional gig with the Gods in 1969, going on to record three albums with the band. He later played with Toe Fat and National Head Band before linking up with Uriah Heep in November 1971.
Lee Kerslake first appeared with Uriah Heep on their 1972 album Demons and Wizards and went on to record nine studio records, as well as a live album, before leaving in 1978 after the Fallen Angels tour.
In 1980, Lee Kerslake met Ozzy Osbourne in an elevator at the Kings Cross Hotel in Australia, and they soon formed the band Blizzard of Ozz with bassist Bob Daisley and guitarist Randy Rhoads, though the band would soon become an Ozzy Osbourne solo project.
After achieving huge commercial success with Ozzy Osbourne in the early 1980s, Lee Kerslake rejoined Uriah Heep for their “Abominog” album, which is regarded as a comeback album for the band by many critics. He stayed with the band until January 2007, appearing on an additional six studio albums, bringing his total contribution to Uriah Heep’s output to 17 studio albums and several live albums.
In December 2018, Kerslake revealed that he was battling prostate cancer, saying that “the doctor gave me about eight months to live”. He further stated that five years previously, he had been given four years to live.
On September 19, 2020, Lee Kerslake died from cancer at age 73
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