Timi Hansen, who played bass in the classic lineups of Mercyful Fate and King Diamond, has passed away at the age of 61. The metal musician succumbed to cancer after revealing his battle with the disease only a couple months ago.
The bassist was a founding member of the highly influential Danish metal act Mercyful Fate, appearing on the band’s first two albums, 1983’s Melissa and 1984’s Don’t Break the Oath. When Mercyful Fate singer King Diamond left the group in 1985 over creative differences, Hansen joined the vocalist in the latter’s eponymous band.
With King Diamond, Hansen recorded two albums in the ’80s, including the 1987 classic Abigail. When Mercyful Fate reunited in 1993, Hansen was on board to record In the Shadows. However, due to his desire not to tour with the group, he only stuck around for a year.
Hansen would later reunite with Mercyful Fate to re-record a couple of songs for Guitar Hero: Metallica in 2008 and again in 2011 to perform with the band during Metallica’s 30th anniversary shows in San Francisco.
However, earlier this year, when Mercyful Fate said they would be reuniting once again to perform a series of shows in 2020, Hansen wasn’t included among the lineup. It was then that he revealed his cancer battle, saying, “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.”
King Diamond revealed the news of Hansen’s death to his Facebook followers, writing the following:
“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.
He was not just my roommate on the early Mercyful Fate tours, but he was always my favorite bass player of all times.
I was fortunate to have been able to visit him at his apartment with some other good friends, and we had a great afternoon that will never be forgotten.
When I last talked to Timi on the phone on October 24th, I could understand that things had gotten tougher than they ever were, and yet he said “we fight on”.
I feel so so sad for his entire family, you have my absolute deepest sympathy.
Rest in Peace my dear dear friend.
King Diamond is currently on a North American tour with his eponymous band, while dates are still being finalized for Mercyful Fate’s 2020 reunion tour. Armored Saint’s Joey Vera will play bass for Mercyful Fate during the 2020 shows.
Our condolences go out to Timi Hansen’s family, friends and bandmates during this difficult time. Watch Hansen and the rest of Mercyful Fate performing with Metallica in 2011 below.