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Former Iron Maiden Drummer Clive Burr Dead at 56

Image courtesy of Clive Burr, lower left: Image courtesy of IronMaiden.com (via ABC News Radio)
Image courtesy of Clive Burr, lower left: Image courtesy of IronMaiden.com (via ABC News Radio)

Ex- Iron Maiden drummer Clive Burr died Tuesday at his home after a battle with multiple sclerosis, according to a message posted on the band's official website.  He was 56. 

Burr joined Maiden in 1979 and was featured on the heavy-metal group's first three studio albums -- 1980's Iron Maiden , 1981's Killers and the band's 1982 classic, Number of the Beast .

Burr played with the group Samson before becoming a member of Iron Maiden.  Following his departure, he played with a variety of other bands, including Trust , Alcatrazz and Gogmagog , which also included ex-Iron Maiden vocalist Paul Di'Anno .

After Burr was diagnosed multiple sclerosis, Iron Maiden staged a number of benefit concerts and established the Clive Burr MS Trust Fund to help him with his medical bills.

Founding Maiden bassist Steve Harris paid tribute to Burr in statement, saying, "Clive…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."

Frontman Bruce Dickinson added, "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 humor or irreverence.  This is a terribly sad day."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio