Ken Hesley, who was the keyboard player for Uriah Heep, died peacefully surrounded by his family this week, his brother has confirmed.

Ken’s brother Trevor shared the sad news in a Facebook post on Thursday, revealing that he passed away suddenly yesterday.

The musician was progressive rock band Uriah Heep’s keyboard player from 1970 to 1980.

Trevor confirmed that Ken had passed away peacefully with his family by his side and a private funeral will be held for him in Spain.

The post said: “I am writing this with a heavy heart to let you know that my brother Ken Hensley passed away peacefully on Wednesday evening.

Ken wrote or co-wrote the majority of Uriah Heep’s songs until he left the band in 1980.

His songwriting credits include the tracks Easy Livin’, Stealin’, Lady In Black and Free Me.

He also played with the bands Blackfoot and W.A.S.P. and had his own band, the Ken Hensley Band.

Ken had been working on a solo project when he died.

For the last few years of his life he had been living with his wife in the village of Agost near Alicante in Spain.