Guitarist K.K. Downing quit Judas Priest after 42 years because of "an ongoing breakdown" in his working relationship with the band's management.
Downing stunned fans earlier this week (begs18Apr11) by announcing his decision to leave the line-up shortly before the group is due to head out on a farewell tour.
The remaining bandmembers wished the star well and now Downing has opened up about his reasons for quitting.
A statement posted on his website reads, "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 O.K.
"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."
Richie Faulkner, a guitarist in British singer Lauren Harris' backing band, will replace Downing on the global farewell tour, which kicks off in Tilburg, Holland in June (11).