Yesterday, heavy metal legends Mercyful Fate announced their first shows in 20+ years, including hometown festival Copenhell in 2020 and "an unspecified number of concerts throughout Europe during the summer of 2020." Frontman King Diamond revealed that the lineup for the shows would be him, founding guitarist Hank Shermann, and ’90s-era members Bjarne T. Holm (drums) and Mike Wead (guitar), with Joey Vera (Armored Saint, Fates Warning, Anthrax) filling in for longtime bassist Timi Hansen. He didn't say why Hansen would be sitting the tour out, but now it's been revealed that the reason is because Hansen has sadly been diagnosed with cancer.

As Loudwire points out, Hansen revealed the news in a Facebook post from King Diamond's wife Livia Zita-Bendix:

There are many questions about why I won't appear as part of the Mercyful Fate reunion in 2020.

The honest explanation is simply that I am currently fighting a fight against cancer.

But believe me I will fight everything I can to be ready.

It's my big dream to be on stage again playing the old Mercyful Fate numbers in front of all of you very loyal fans.

If this wasn't going to happen, I'd like to ask you to take good care of Joey Vera.

I totally agree with King that he is a perfect "Stand in", so take good care of him.

We're thinking of you Timi, and we hope to see you back on stage with Mercyful Fate one day.

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