In Memoriam: Ken Hensley (1945 – 2020)

Kenneth William David Hensley (August 24, 1945 – November4, 2020) was an English singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, best known for his work with Uriah Heep during the 1970s.

He wrote or co-wrote the majority of Uriah Heep’s songs during this period, including the hit singles “Lady in Black” (on which he sang lead vocals), “Easy Livin'” and “Stealin'”, as well as “Look at Yourself”, on which he also sang lead vocals, and “Free Me”.

From The Ken Hensley Website
It is with great sadness that we announce that Ken Hensley, former Uriah Heep vocalist songwriter and multi-instrumentalist passed away peacefully on 4th November following a very short illness.

Ken was one of the most important musicians of the past half-a-century. His work with Uriah Heep in the 1970s helped to make the band hugely influential. He also collaborated with bands such as Blackfoot, W.A.S.P. and Cinderella, as well as building a very successful solo career. As a writer he was responsible for such classics as ‘Lady In Black’, ‘Easy Livin”, “July Morning” and ‘Look At Yourself’.

A very spiritual person, Ken became an inspiration to many and known for encouraging talented artists.

“I am in deep shock at the news Ken Hensley has passed away, and my sincere condolences go to his family and wife Monica. 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. RIP Ken” Mick Box – Uriah Heep

Ken had recently finished work on a new project My Book of Answers which is due for release end of February 2021.

He leaves behind a wife Monica and 2 brothers Trevor, Mark and sister Dawn and his close friend and manager Steve Weltman.

We wish to express our deepest sympathies to Ken’s family, friends and many associates from his musical career at this time. The family ask fans for some space and time to come to terms with the tragic and unexpected loss.


Bands and guest appearances
The Gods (1965–1969) – lead vocals, keyboards, occasional guitar
Head Machine (1969) – lead vocals, keyboards, guitars (This was a one-album project put together by a producer)
Toe Fat (1969) – keyboards, backing vocals, occasional guitar
Uriah Heep (1970–1980) – keyboards, backing and occasional lead vocals, acoustic and slide guitar, primary songwriter
Weed (1971) – lead vocals, keyboards, guitars (A one-album side project for Hensley. The other musicians playing on the album are thought to have been from a German band called Virus)
Shotgun (1981) – lead vocals, keyboards, guitars
Ken Hensley Band (1981) – lead vocals, keyboards, guitars
Blackfoot (1982–1985) – keyboards, backing vocals, slide guitar
W.A.S.P. (The Headless Children, 1989) – keyboards
Cinderella (Heartbreak Station, 1990) – Hammond organ
Ken Hensley & Visible Faith (1999) – lead vocals, keyboards, guitars
Bruce Cameron (Midnight Daydream, 1999) – keyboards
Hensley/Lawton Band (2000–2001) – keyboards, guitars, lead and backing vocals
Ken Hensley/John Wetton (2001) – keyboards, guitars, lead and backing vocals
Ken Hensley & Free Spirit (2002) – keyboards, guitars, lead vocals
Ayreon (2004) – Hammond solo on Loser from the album The Human Equation
Ken Hensley & The Viking All-Stars Band (2005) – keyboards, guitars, lead vocals
Ken Hensley & Live Fire (2006–2020) – keyboards, guitars, lead vocals
Therion (2007) – Hammond solo on Trul from the album Gothic Kabbalah
B.T.R. (2008) – keyboards, guitars, lead and backing vocals (The Bulgarian hard rock band played with Hensley on a few occasions most of which also included John Lawton)
Toni Rowland (Unfolding, 2010) – keyboards, guitars, producer
Sunrize (2011) – Touring together with the Bulgarian rock band Sunrize during their Rock on the Rocks tour 2011.

Solo albums
Proud Words on a Dusty Shelf (1973) – AUS #57[6]
Eager to Please (1975)
Free Spirit (1980)
The Best of Ken Hensley (compilation, 1990)
From Time to Time (1994)
A Glimpse of Glory (1999)
Ken Hensley Anthology (compilation, 2000)
Running Blind (2002)
The Last Dance (2003)
The Wizard’s Diary Vol. 1 (compilation, CD/DVD, 2004)
Cold Autumn Sunday (2005)
Elements – Anthology 1968 To 2005 (compilation, 2006)
Inside the Mystery (compilation, 2006)
Blood on the Highway (2007)
Live Fire (DVD, 2007)
Blood on the Highway – Release Concert (live DVD, 2008)
Love & Other Mysteries (2012)[7]
Live Tales (live, 2013)
Rare & Timeless (compilation, 2018)

With Uriah Heep
…Very ‘Eavy …Very ‘Umble (1970)
Salisbury (1971)
Look at Yourself (1971)
Demons and Wizards (1972)
The Magician’s Birthday (1972)
Uriah Heep Live (live, 1973)
Sweet Freedom (1973)
Wonderworld (1974)
Return to Fantasy (1975)
The Best of Uriah Heep (compilation, 1975)
High and Mighty (1976)
Firefly (1977)
Innocent Victim (1977)
Fallen Angel (1978)
Conquest (1980)
Live at Shepperton ’74 (live, 1986)
Live in Europe 1979 (live, 1986)
Still ‘Eavy Still Proud (compilation, 1990)
Rarities From The Bronze Age (compilation, 1991)
The Lansdowne Tapes (1993)
A Time of Revelation (1996)
Live in San Diego 1974 (live, 1997)
The Magician’s Birthday Party (live, 2002)
Chapter & Verse – The Uriah Heep Story (compilation, 2005)

With The Gods
Genesis (1968)
To Samuel A Son (1969)
The Gods Featuring Ken Hensley (1976)

With Head Machine
Orgasm (1969)

With Toe Fat
Toe Fat (1970)

With Weed
Weed…! (1971)

With Blackfoot
Siogo (1983)
Vertical Smiles (1984)
KBFH Presents Blackfoot Live 1983 (live, 1998)

With John Wetton
More Than Conquerors (live, 2002)
One Way Or Another (live, 2002)

With Ken Hensley & Live Fire
Faster (2011)
Live Fire LIVE (live, 2013)
Trouble (2013)
Live in Russia (live, 2019)