Richie Faulkner in a “stable” condition after undergoing major emergency heart surgery

Richie Faulkner
(Image credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Richie Faulkner is in a “stable condition” after he was hospitalized earlier this week following major medical heart conditions.

The Judas Priest guitarist underwent “emergency major heart surgery”, with Faulkner’s partner Mariah Lynch confirming on social media that the operation had been successful.

“Thank you to everyone for all your messages,” Lynch wrote on Instagram. “I will try to get back to you as soon as I can.

“Richie underwent major emergency medical heart surgery. He is stable and resting,” she continued. “If you know him, you know how tough and strong he is. So tough that he finished the show and kept the hair flips coming. There’s no one like him.”

Judas Priest – who were in the midst of their 50 Heavy Metal Years Tour – confirmed earlier this week that they had been forced to postpone the remainder of the US schedule after Faulkner’s emergency heart condition “landed him in hospital”.

The band noted in a post on social media that they will look to reschedule the tour following updates from Faulkner’s doctors, and added that “we are all sending love to our Falcon to wish him a speedy recovery”.

Priest’s most recent performance came at the Louder Than Life festival, for which the metal gods recruited a Greeny-wielding Kirk Hammett for a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s The Green Manalishi (With The Two Pronged Crown).

Since news of Faulkner’s health issues broke, many have flocked to social media to voice their support, with Gibson tweeting, “The Gibson family joins Judas Priest and guitarist Richie Faulkner’s loved ones in wishing him a fast and healthy recovery, so he can return to the stage, where he belongs."

Zakk Wylde, meanwhile, wrote, “Prayers of strength and light to our Jedi brethren o’shred – Father Richie Faulkner. Love you Father Richie, I’ll be checking in on you. Get better my brother.”

Faulkner originally joined the Judas Priest family back in 2011 as a replacement for the outgoing KK Downing. 

The Gibson Flying V-wielding guitarist’s own health issues come off the back of Priest’s 2018 announcement that Glenn Tipton – the band’s long-serving six-string stalwart – had retired from touring, though would continue his involvement in songwriting duties.

Speaking to Guitar World in a recent interview, Faulkner labelled Tipton a “50-year veteran and a rock star”, and that the guitarist elevates Judas Priest’s “rock star level another 50%”.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.