KK Downing Press Release Re: Judas Priest Exit

"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 OK.

There has been an ongoing breakdown in 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."

While K.K.'s exit from the band he joined in 1971 was one of the worst-kept secrets in rock & roll, many worried that his decision to leave may have involved health issues. Thankfully, that does not appear to be the case.

Downing has already been replaced by 31-year-old guitarist Richie Faulkner for Judas Priest's summer farewell world tour.

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