JUDAS PRIEST guitarist Richie Faulkner is "stable and resting" after undergoing "major emergency heart surgery."
On Monday (September 27),JUDAS PRIEST announced that it was postponing the remainder of its U.S. tour due to "major medical heart condition issues" suffered by Faulkner.
Produced by Live Nation, the rescheduled "50 Heavy Metal Years" trek kicked off on September 8 in Reading, Pennsylvania and was slated to run through October before concluding on November 5 in Hamilton, Ontario.
Earlier today (Tuesday, September 28),Faulkner's girlfriend Mariah Lynch, daughter of former DOKKEN guitarist George Lynch, shared the following update via Instagram: "Thank you to everyone for all your messages. I will try to get back to you as soon as I can.
"Richie underwent major emergency heart surgery. He is stable & resting.
"If you know him, you know how tough & strong he is. So tough that he finished the show & kept the hair flips coming. There's no one like him. We'd be lost without him. #HotDad".
Faulkner and Lynch welcomed their first child, a baby girl named Daisy Mae, in July 2020.
PRIEST's most recent show took place Sunday night (September 26) at the Louder Than Life festival in Louisville, Kentucky. The band's next date was originally set for Wednesday (September 29) at the Mission Ballroom in Denver, Colorado.
Faulkner joined PRIEST in 2011 as the replacement for original guitarist K.K. Downing.
Richie was once the guitarist in the backing group for Lauren Harris, daughter of IRON MAIDEN bassist Steve Harris.
A number of Faulkner's colleagues sent their well-wishes his way, including Zakk Wylde (BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, OZZY OSBOURNE),Joe Bonamassa, Gary Holt (EXODUS, SLAYER) and Paul Stanley (KISS).
"Get well soon Richie," wrote Bonamassa. "One of the nicest, most talented and genuine people I have met in this business."
Former WHITESNAKE and DIO guitarist Doug Aldrich wrote: "Just heard our brother Richie fell ill and is in the hospital… Prayers for a speedy recovery."
Holt wrote: "Here's wishing Richie a speedy recovery, get well soon brother, one of the greatest guitarists walking this earth, and nicest guy too."
In a 2016 interview with 103GBF, JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford stated about Faulkner: "We can't say enough about Richie. I mean, you know, it's hard to condense it, but if you [see PRIEST in concert] and just look at Richie's charisma and energy and all of the great stuff that's coming out of his hands, it's wonderful; it really is. And, yeah, I mean, he's infectious; the fans will tell you that. Once the show kicks off, he's at the edge of the stage connecting, and that's a really cool thing to be having happen with PRIEST."