Bernie Torme, former Ozzy Osbourne guitarist, dead at 66

Maeve McDermott
Torme, who died Sunday, is best known for his albums with Deep Purple singer Ian Gillan, beginning to play with Ian Gillan and Ozzy Osbourne’s band.
Bernie Torme from GMT, live on stage at Hard Rock Hell 2009, Prestatyn Sands, Wales, Dec. 3, 2009.

Bernie Torme, a member of Deep Purple and a hard-rocking musician, died "peacefully" on Sunday at age 66.

“Bernie Tormé passed away peacefully on the 17th March 2019, one day short of his 67th birthday, surrounded by his family,” read a statement obtained by Variety and the Irish Examiner. “He had been on life support for the past four weeks at a London hospital following post-flu complications. Bernie will be remembered for dedicating his life to his music for five decades. He will be sorely missed.”

"What a sad day," Ozzy Osbourne wrote on Twitter about Torme. "We’ve lost another great musician. Bernie was a gentle soul with a heart of gold. He will be dearly missed. I send my sincere condolences to his family, friends and fans."

Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider tweeted, "Woke up to find out my friend @Bernie_Torme has died. He was a guitar god who played with @OzzyOsbourne & Ian Gillan. We worked together for 3 years, writing over 100 songs for the ill-fated Desperado. I loved that man & today my heart is broken. RIP Bernie. Your guitar weeps."

Torme is best known for his albums with Deep Purple singer Ian Gillan, beginning to play with Ian Gillan and Ozzy Osbourne’s band in 1982, after Randy Rhoads – the guitarist who played on Osbourne's his first two solo albums – died in a plane crash.

Torme’s Twitter account posted in February that the guitarist was "extremely ill"  with virulent pneumonia. 

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Bernie Torme, former Ozzy Osbourne guitarist, dead at 66