The metal world is mourning the death of longtime Mercyful Fate and King Diamond bassist Timi Hansen. King Diamond himself confirmed the news, revealing that Hansen had been "fighting cancer for a long time."

"I just found out that I lost one of my dearest friends, who has been fighting cancer for a long time, in such an incredibly brave way. I feel so so sad for his entire family, you have my absolute deepest sympathy. Rest in Peace, Timi. My dear dear friend," stated the vocalist.

Hansen played with Mercyful Fate from 1981 to 1985, appearing on Nuns Have No Fun, the classic album Melissa and Don't Break the Oath. He would later return to the band for 1992's Return of the Vampire, 1993's In the Shadows and 1994's The Bell Witch EP.

Hansen maintained a close musical relationship with King Diamond, following him from Mercyful Fate over to King's solo records. His tenure with King Diamond included three studio albums, including the popular 1987 effort Abigail, as well as the 1989 compilation Dark Sides.

Mercyful Fate announced plans for a 2020 reunion but Hansen's name was absent when it was revealed. The musician went public with his cancer diagnosis after questions began to arise. "There are many questions about why I won't appear as part of the Mercyful Fate reunion in 2020. The honest explanation is simply that I am currently fighting a fight against cancer. But believe me, I will fight everything I can to be ready," stated Hansen this past August.

He added, "It's my big dream to be on stage again playing the old Mercyful Fate numbers in front of all of you very loyal fans. If this wasn't going to happen, I'd like to ask you to take good care of Joey Vera. I totally agree with King that he is a perfect 'stand-in,' so take good care of him."

The bassist had just passed his 61st birthday in late October.

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