Def Leppard singer Joe Elliott is mourning the loss of his father, Joe Elliott Sr., who passed away in a U.K. hospital after battling an unspecified illness for the past several weeks. As previously reported, Def Leppard have postponed several dates on their current North American tour with Heart.

In a brief statement on their official website, Def Leppard announced: "We sadly share the following news with you.  Joe Elliott's father, who has been ill for a number of weeks, has passed in a UK hospital."

Earlier in the day, the band announced that a total of six shows on their North American trek would be postponed for what they described at the time as a "family illness." The affected dates start with last night's scheduled gig (July 7) in Cincinnati and continue through a planned July 15 gig in Tinley Park, Ill.

The rescheduled dates are listed as follows (original dates in parentheses):

7/27 -- Cincinnati, Ohio (formerly 7/7)
7/28 -- Tinley Park, Ill. (formerly 7/15)
7/30 -- Wantagh, N.Y. (formerly 7/12)
7/31 -- Bristow, Va.  (formerly 7/9)
8/2 -- Saratoga Springs, N.Y. (formerly 7/10)
8/3 -- Holmdel, N.J. -- (formerly 7/13)

Tickets for the original shows will be honored on the newly scheduled dates, and Heart will still provide support at each show.

Def Leppard are now scheduled to resume their tour on July 17 at Rock Fest in Cadott, Wis., and remain on the road through a Sept. 15 show in Seattle. Click here to see the band's revised itinerary.

In addition, Def Leppard and Heart announced today that they will embark on a tour of Australia in October.