Former Iron Maiden drummer Clive Burr has died in his sleep on Tuesday night (March 12) after a battle with multiple sclerosis. He was 56 years old.

Burr joined Maiden in 1979 after playing with a group called Samson, which also featured future Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson. He played with Iron Maiden on their landmark first three albums; 'Iron Maiden' (1980), 'Killers' (1981) and 'The Number of the Beast' (1982).

After his tenure in Iron Maiden, Burr went on to play with a variety of groups including Trust, Alcatrazz, Gogmagog, and Clive Burr's Escape. Burr also played with Twisted Sister vocalist Dee Snider in a band called Desperado.

After Burr was diagnosed with MS, his former band mates started the Clive Burr Trust, a fund to help the drummer pay his household expenses, travel for treatment, and buy specialized equipment to help him stay mobile. Burr actively oversaw a series of concerts dubbed Clive Aid, through which he raised money for multiple sclerosis research and awareness.

Iron Maiden posted the following statement to their website on Wednesday (March 13):

We are deeply saddened to report that Clive Burr passed away last night. He had suffered poor health for many years after being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and died peacefully in his sleep at home.

Steve Harris said “This is terribly sad news. Clive was a very old friend of all of us. He was a wonderful person and an amazing drummer who made a valuable contribution to Maiden in the early days when we were starting out. This is a sad day for everyone in the band and those around him and our thoughts and condolences are with his partner Mimi and family at this time."

Bruce Dickinson adds “I first met Clive when he was leaving Samson and joining Iron Maiden. He was a great guy and a man who really lived his life to the full. Even during the darkest days of his M.S., Clive never lost his sense of humour or irreverence. This is a terribly sad day and all our thoughts are with Mimi and the family”

Funeral arrangements for Clive Burr have yet to be announced.

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