Jeff Hanneman, a founding member of the, Grammy winning heavy metal band Slayer, died Thursday of liver failure in Southern California, the band said in a statement.
He was 49.
“Slayer is devastated to inform that their bandmate and brother, Jeff Hanneman, passed away at about 11 a.m. this morning near his Southern California home. Hanneman was in an area hospital when he suffered liver failure,” the band said in a statement posted on its website and Facebook page. Hanneman is survived by his wife, Kathy, a sister and two brothers.
“He … will be sorely missed,” the band said.
The guitarist was with Slayer from its founding in 1981. Its breakthrough came five years later with the release of “Reign in Blood,” an album that included two songs — “Angel of Death” and “Raining Blood” — co-written by Hanneman.
That was one of 10 studio albums that the band put out over three decades together, during which they performed thousands of shows.
In 2006 and 2007, Slayer won Grammy awards for best metal performance.
Thousands of fans have commented about Hanneman on Slayer’s Facebook page.