Ken Kelly, the legendary artist, died at the age of 76. His passing was confirmed yesterday by his friend Danny Stanton, president and founder of Coallier Entertainment. Stanton wrote: "RIP KEN KELLY. You will always be a legend in the KISS world. Such a great guy, artist, friend". Kelly was one of the most successful fantasy artists who is responsible for many album covers for rock and metal bands, such as KISS, Rainbow and Manowar. His album covers were classic, and prominent in the sword and sorcery and heroic fantasy genres.

Early in his career, he was able to study the paintings of Frank Frazetta in the latter's studio, but Frazetta never let out his trade secrets. In the early 1970s, he did a couple of cover paintings for Castle Of Frankenstein magazine. Throughout the 1970s, he was one of the foremost cover artists on Warren Publishing's Creepy and Eerie magazines. Kelly has depicted Conan The Barbarian and Tarzan while also creating the artwork for KISS's "Destroyer" and "Love Gun", Rainbow's "Rising", several albums from Manowar, and Ace Frehley's "Space Invader" record.

Generations and generations of fans have grown up with the art of Ken Kelly. His paintings, epic, heroic and pompous, were so characteristic and expressive. Rest in Peace, Mr. Kelly.