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K.K. Downing Issues Statement on Departure From Judas Priest

K.K. Downing Issues Statement on Departure From Judas Priest

As previously reported, longtime Judas Priest guitarist K.K. Downing officially retired from the band yesterday, right before the band was to embark on their final world tour. At the time, no official reason had been given for his departure. Since then, however, the former Priest guitarist has issued the following statement:

"Dear friends,

It is with much regret that I will not be with you this summer. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your concerns about my health. Please rest assured that I am O.K. There has been an ongoing breakdown in the working relationship between myself, elements of the band, and the band's management for some time. Therefore I have decided to step down rather than to tour with negative sentiments as I feel that this would be a deception to you, our cherished fans. However I would urge you to please support the Priest as I have no doubt that it will be a show not to be missed.

All my love and respect."

British guitarist Richard Faulker will replace Downing on Judas Priest's upcoming Epitaph Tour.

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