John Lawton, the singer best known for his work with Uriah Heep, died on June 29 at the age of 74. No cause has been reported. Lawton was also a member of Lucifer’s Friend and the Humphries Singers.
“Contrary to the information, there was no illness, which makes his death incomprehensible,” can one read on the official website of Uriah Heep. “He left peacefully with his wife by his side.”
Private service is provided for close friends and family. “John will be sorely missed,” the tribute band posted on social media. Two other former members of Uriah Heep died last year: drummer Lee Kerslake at 73 and keyboardist Ken Hensley at 75.
Lawton joined Uriah Heep in 1976, replacing original singer David Byron as the band prepared their 10th album, Firefly. A year later, in the years 1977 Innocent victim, the group would get their biggest hit, “Free Me”. Although Lawton left the band in 1979, he remained on good terms with his former band mates.
Watch John Lawton sing “Free Me” with Uriah Heep in 1977
“We’re good friends,” he said in 2014. “I always say, ‘Once you join the Heep family, you never leave no matter what. “And I’m always there for them if they need help. I will always step in.”
Lawton continued to sing with various groups, released several solo albums and also worked alongside several other notable artists, such as David Coverdale, Ian Gillan and Glenn Hughes.
“Music gave me fullness,” Lawton said in an interview in 2002. “Everything that happened is fullness for me, because I did whatever I wanted. You say, “Oh, I’d like to make a record” – and you make a record; you say, “I” love doing live gigs “- so you do live gigs;” I would like to have a record in the charts “- so you have a record in the charts;” I would like to be a # 1 “- so you have number one:” Free me “went to # 1; “I would like to register under my own name” – then you register under your own name. So everything I wanted to do came true. “
In Memoriam: 2021 deaths
In memory of the musicians, actors, producers and others who died in 2021.