Veteran hard rock/metal drummer Lee Kerslake -- who played in Uriah Heep for a large portion of their career and on Ozzy Osbourne's classic solo albums Blizzard Of Ozz and Diary Of A Madman -- has sadly passed away to prostate cancer at age 73. Lee's former Uriah Heep bandmate Ken Hensley confirmed the news to Louder, writing:

t'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.

I know many of you were praying for him not to suffer and I thank you for that and, now that Lee is at peace, our thoughts and prayers should turn to his wife Sue who will need all the support she can get at this time.

This sad news comes just one month after '80s Ozzy bassist (and UFO member) Pete Way passed away.

Gene Simmons was among those to pay tribute, writing, "Sad to report Lee Kerslake has passed. A kind soul. Heep toured with us in the 70s. Lee always had a cheery “Hello” greeting. He will be missed!"

Rest in peace, Lee.

Watch Lee perform with Ozzy in the '80s and Uriah Heep in the '70s below...