03/14/2013 08:48 am ET Updated Mar 15, 2013

Clive Burr Dead: Former Iron Maiden Drummer Dies At Age 56

Former Iron Maiden drummer Clive Burr has died at the age of 56.

Burr died in his sleep and had suffered poor heath for years after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, according to the band's official website.

Born in London in 1957, Burr joined Iron Maiden in 1979 and contributed to the band's first three studio albums, according to Billboard. Burr left the band in 1982, and went on to perform with a number of bands including Trust, Elixir and Praying Mantis, before he was diagnosed with MS in 1994.

In a statement on the band's website, Iron Maiden bassist Steve Harris remembered his friend and former bandmate, writing:

"This is terribly sad news. Clive was a very old friend of all of us. He was a wonderful person and an amazing drummer who made a valuable contribution to Maiden in the early days when we were starting out," he wrote. "This is a sad day for everyone in the band and those around him and our thoughts and condolences are with his partner Mimi and family at this time.

Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson added:

“I first met Clive when he was leaving Samson and joining Iron Maiden. He was a great guy and a man who really lived his life to the full. Even during the darkest days of his M.S., Clive never lost his sense of humor or irreverence. This is a terribly sad day and all our thoughts are with Mimi and the family."

Burr left the band in 1994, but he remained close to his former bandmates, who formed the Clive Burr MS Trust and performed many charity concerts to help Burr fund his expensive medical treatment over the years, reports MTV.



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