After struggling with severe complications from the flu, legendary Irish guitarist Bernie Tormé has died.
The multi-talented musician, who rose to fame in the ‘70s, spent time working with Ozzy Osbourne, who has been suffering from his own health woes recently.
In mid-February, when his battle with the flu took a devastating turn, Bernie’s family posted an urgent announcement to his Facebook page, making fans aware of the strummer’s dire condition.
“Bernie Tormé is extremely ill in intensive care with virulent double pneumonia. We ask for your prayers.”
66-year-old Tormé rose to fame in the mid—'70s as lead guitarist for ‘Gillan,' “the hard-rocking group fronted by former Deep Purple singer Ian Gillan.”
Tormé then “briefly joined Osbourne's solo band for a handful of live dates as the replacement for Randy Rhoades, following Rhoades death in a plane crash in 1982.” The two have remained good friends ever since.
When they learned of Tormé’s illness in mid-February, Ozzy Osbourne and his manager-wife Sharon sent their get-well wishes to Tormé.
"Sending you positive vibes and love, and all our prayers.
"Love Ozzy and Sharon”
Tormé also spent time working with Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider, who paid tribute to his friend and former bandmate with two tweets on Monday:
“Woke up to find out my friend @Bernie_Tormé 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.”
“Bernie Tormé recorded over 24 albums in his career to date as a solo artist or band member.”
Tormé was still actively working as recently as November 2018.
“Tormé released the double album Shadowland in November, which featured former Gillan keyboardist Colin Towns.”
The Irish guitarist's official website confirmed the news of his passing, and his family issued a statement on his Facebook page on Monday (March 18), which read:
"Bernie Tormé passed away peacefully on the 17th March 2019, one day short of his 67th birthday, surrounded by his family.
"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."
Colleagues and friends poured out their hearts on social media after learning the heartbreaking news of Bernie's passing.
“My lovely, wonderful friend Bernie Tormé finally succumbed to the double pneumonia he was hospitalised with a few weeks ago.
"Can't believe he's gone. Devastated. R.I.P my beautiful friend - you know how much you meant to us XxXxX” 🖤😢☘️😢🎸😢🖤
Please join us in praying for Bernie's family after suffering this tremendous loss. May he rest in peace.