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Deftones bassist Chi Cheng dies

Story by Jack Foley

FORMER Deftones bassist Chi Cheng has died at the age of 42.

A founding member of the band along with singer Chino Moreno, Cheng had been in a “partially conscious state” since a car accident in 2008.

His family confirmed in a statement posted on Oneloveforchi.com that he had passed away on Saturday morning (April 13, 2013).

His mum (Mom J) wrote: “This is the hardest thing to write to you. Your love and heart and devotion to Chi was unconditional and amazing. I know that you will always remember him as a giant of a man on stage with a heart for every one of you. He was taken to the emergency room and at 3am today his heart just suddenly stopped. He left this world with me singing songs he liked in his ear.

He fought the good fight.You stood by him sending love daily. He knew that he was very loved and never alone. I will write more later.

“I will be going through the oneloveforchi site and any other information may not be reliable. If you have any stories or messages to share please send them to the onelove site. Please hold Mae and Ming and the siblings and especially Chi’s son, Gabriel in your prayers. It is so hard to let go.”

Cheng formed Deftones with Chino Moreno, Stephen Carpenter and Abe Cunningham in 1988 and subsequently performed on the band’s first five albums.

But he suffered major injuries that left him in a coma after being involved in a head-on car crash in 2008 while driving with his sister, who only suffered minor injuries.

Among those to pay tribute to the bassist via Twitter were fellow guitarist Slash, who posted: “Just heard that Chi from the Deftones passed away. That’s really sad news. I didn’t really know him. But he was an awesome bass player. RIP.”

And Gerard Way, of the recently disbanded My Chemical Romance, wrote: “So incredibly heartbreaking to hear the news of Chi’s passing. My thoughts are with his family, and all of you.”