A former member of seventies band Jethro Tull has had a sex-change operation and become a woman called Dee. Once bearded keyboard player David Palmer now has long blonde hair and wears make-up and black leggings, reports the Evening Standard. She broke the news to flute playing frontman Ian Anderson by saying: "There's something I need to get off my increasingly ample chest." Anderson stood by his former bandmate, saying: "I found it difficult at first but I fully support his decision." Palmer, 66, a former soldier in the Royal Horse Guards and Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music, is set to embark on a solo career. She said: "I want to be judged on my musical ability alone, and nothing else." Her desire to change sex had been an "open secret" in the music business for many years, she said, but she did not go ahead with the operation until the death of wife Margaret nine years ago. Palmer lives in Hove, East Sussex, but is currently in the Spanish resort of Lanzarote, recording her first solo album before launching a British tour next month. She said: "I've felt like this since the age of three. It's not just wimps who want to do this. To be a girl, it goes a lot deeper than that. Yes, you are speaking to the person you thought I was - the keyboard player in Jethro Tull." Jethro Tull was formed in 1968 and had a string of hits including Living In The Past and Teacher. Palmer left the band in 1980.