Founding Deftones bassist Chi Cheng has died at 42 after a long battle for his health.
Chi was in a coma for years after a car crash in 2008. He was driving with his sister who only suffered minor injuries. Chi wasn't wearing a seatbelt and was flung from the vehicle, and sustained major injuries.
Despite posting regular updates on his recovery, his mother writes on the One Love for Chi site that he died in an emergency room at 3 a.m. on Saturday morning.
"This is the hardest thing to write to you. Your love and heart and devotion to Chi was unconditional and amazing," writes his mother in a statement. "He was taken to the emergency room and at 3 am today his heart just suddenly stopped. He left this world with me singing songs he liked in his ear."
Deftones have not issued a statement on Chi's death, but singer Chino Moreno posted the short message "Rest in peace Chi Cheng" on his Facebook page.
The band have been performing regular benefit gigs to raise funds to support Chi's recovery, and for a while it looked like Chi was on a long but stable road to recovery. Sadly, he was hit with pneumonia in June last year, and by November his family started to consider stem cell therapy to speed his recovery. "It's a miracle he's still with us," said his brother Ming at the time.
Before his accident, Deftones were midway through recording the album "Eros." The project was put on hold with the intention of finishing it when Chi had fully recovered, and went on to release "Diamond Eyes" in 2010. Chi was replaced by Sergio Vega, the Quicksand bassist who once covered for Chi on bass in 1999 with his blessing.
Ultimate Guitar would like to extend its best wishes to Chi's family and friends at this difficult time.
Cheng family statement:
"Our dearest Family,
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 emegency room and at 3 am 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 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.
With great love and 'Much Respect!' Mom J (and Chi)"
R.I.P Deftones Bassist Chi Cheng. Very sweet and talented guy. Head injury from car accident. Everyone please wear seatbelt and live.
Tom Morello (@tmorello) April 14, 2013
My heart goes out to Chi's family and friends. He was a great guy and a legendary player!
Chester Bennington (@ChesterBe) April 15, 2013
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
Slash (@Slash) April 14, 2013
my heart goes out to Chino & deftones & Chi's family for their loss
Sebastian Bach (@sebastianbach) April 14, 2013
DAVID DRAIMAN (@DAVIDMDRAIMAN) April 14, 2013
My friend Chi passed away. My heart goes out to his family, and to my friends in @deftones. This is indeed a sad day...
The Boogie Knight (@CoreyTaylorRock) April 14, 2013