Ken Hensley, songwriter with 70s rock band Uriah Heep, dies aged 75

Ken Hensley performing with Uriah Heep. Photograph: Fin Costello/Redferns

by Ben Beaumont-Thomas

The Guardian

November 6, 2020

Ken Hensley, the songwriter and multi-instrumentalist best known for his work with 70s rock band Uriah Heep, has died aged 75. His press representative said he had died “peacefully following a very short illness”.

His Uriah Heep bandmate Mick Box said he was in “deep shock … 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.” His brother Trevor wrote on Facebook: “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.”

As well as playing guitar and keyboards with the band – and helping popularise the latter instrument as part of an emerging harder rock sound – Hensley penned and sang lead vocals for one of the band’s key tracks, the stirring folk-rock song Lady in Black. He also wrote Easy Livin’, which was a hit across Europe in 1972, as well as a large number of the band’s other songs.

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