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Whitesnake hire keyboardist Michele Luppi

Italian brought in to replace Brian Ruedy in Coverdale's band

Whitesnake have announced Michele Luppi as their new keyboard player and backing vocalist.

The Italian has worked with Eric Martin, George Lynch and Ian Paice in recent years and is also a member of Vision Divine. He also has a successful solo career with Michele Luppi Band (MLB).

Whitesnake say: "Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls... please raise thy glasses – wine glasses that is – and say hello to out dynamic Italian stallion, Mr Michele Luppi. Our fabulous new keyboardist and singer."

Luppi's appointment was announced on Whitesnake's website. He replaces Brian Ruedy in the band. Whitesnake last year brought in guitarist Joel Hoekstra to replace Doug Aldrich.

David Coverdale and Whitesnake recently released The Purple Album – featuring re-recorded versions of classic Deep Purple songs.

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