Chi Cheng Dies; Deftones Bassist Was 42

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Deftones bass guitarist Chi Cheng died Sunday morning.

Five years after a tragic car crash left him in a coma, his mother took to the Internet to announce that her son had passed away at the age of 42.


"This is the hardest thing to write to you," said Mom J, the name she used with fans, said. "Your love, heart and devotion to Chi was unconditional and amazing."

Her statement was published Sunday on OneLoveForChi, a website established to communicate with his fans and raise money to help care for him.

"He was taken to the ER, and at 3 a.m. today, his heart just suddenly stopped," his mom said. "He left this world with me singing songs he liked in his ear."

Cheng co-founded alt-metal band The Deftones way back in 1988. Cheng and his group won a Grammy Award for best metal performance in 2001.

"I know that you will always remember him as a giant of a man on stage with a heart for every one of you," Mom J wrote. "He fought the good fight."

"He knew that he was very loved and never alone."

Tributes came pouring in, including from Recording Academy President Neil Portnow, who called Cheng "a powerful bassist who was larger than life on stage."