Deftones bassist Chi Chengdied on Saturday (April 13th) at the age of 42, more than four years after a November 2008 car accident left him in a semi-comatose state. His mother posted the following statement online:
"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 emergency room and at 3 a.m. 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."
His mother also wrote, "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)."
Our deepest condolences to the family, friends and bandmates of Chi Cheng.
Here's Cheng in 2000, on how his goal for Deftones albums was always just to write good songs: ["I just want to write an album that I'm happy with 10 years from now, 20 years from now, when I'm an old grandpa or something and I can be like, 'Cool, I'm still happy with it.' Like, I'm not gonna look back on some song and gonna be, 'Oh, Jesus, what was I thinking?' You know? Like, as long as I can feel proud about it, you know, put it on for my grandkid or something and be like, 'Well, you know, it's kind of goofy and it's sorta, you know, this or that, but I was happy with it, and I'm still happy with it,' that's what's important to me."]
Cheng loved to perform live and told us many years ago about a particular show in Columbus, Ohio that was unforgettable for him: ["It was just one of those shows where there was some kind of magic there and everyone walked off stage and it was just so beautiful, such a great thing. I think that that's the kind of show that we love to have, where everyone is just on the same page and the audience is out of their minds. Nobody was thinking about anything but the music. Every tour I have a couple shows where I'm like, 'Oh, man, that's why I play music. That's right. That's why I do it.'"]
ROCKERS REACT TO THE DEATH OF CHI CHENG:
Corey Taylor (Stone Sour/Slipknot): "My friend Chi passed away. My heart goes out to his family, and to my friends in @deftones. This is indeed a sad day..."
Marcos Curiel (P.O.D.): "#RIP @deftones podband Never Forgotten :( He was a cool ass dude. He's in a better place."
Gerard Way (My Chemical Romance): "So incredibly heartbreaking to hear the news of Chi's passing. My thoughts are with his family, and all of you."
Duff McKagan (Velvet Revolver): "RIP Chi. Awful news. Condolences to the Cheng family and @deftones.... from the McKagan's."
David Draiman (Device/Disturbed): "RIP CHI CHENG OF @deftones, YOU HARBORED A SWEET BRILLIANCE, AND WILL BE REMEMBERED AND LOVED."
Theory Of A Deadman: "RIP chi cheng.....will be missed."
Nonpoint: "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Chi Cheng. RIP brother, see you on the other side."
Papa Roach: "RIP CHI... WE LOVE YOU MAN!"
INTERNET COMMENTS at Blabbermouth and Loudwire:
IHMC wrote: "A sad day indeed. Words cannot express how devastating this is. he fought long, even when we thought he was getting better, he sadly didn't. I also hope his family can cope with this loss."
Melissa Bearden wrote: "RIP your contribution to Deftones music will never be forgotten. You helped make being a fan fun and will always be remembered."
Brian Rodgers wrote: "I knew this was the most likely outcome, but I was hoping he'd beat the odds and fight his way back. Maybe not back on stage, but at least back to being able to interact more with the people who loved him. I'm sorry to hear it didn't come to pass. Hope he's found peace now."
radar150 wrote: "RIP Chi - you're a fighter and will be greatly missed."
BlackWater Park wrote: "Oh no, this is devastating news!!! One of the nicest guys I've ever met in my life. RIP Chi."
Shakezulah wrote: "Unreal. I can't believe he fought so hard for four and a half years for it to just end like this. Music just lost a true great. RIP Chi...your music meant the world to me and it just won't be the same without you."