Slipknot bassist Paul Gray found dead in hotel room at age 38

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Paul Gray performing in 2005
Image: Gene Smimov.

Paul Gray, American musician and bassist of the heavy metal band Slipknot, has been found dead in his hotel room in Iowa. His body was found at around 10:50 Monday morning by a hotel employee. Police investigating the death said that no foul play was suspected.

Chris Diebel, the spokesman for the hotel where Gray was found, released a statement. He said “Gray checked into the extended-stay hotel on Saturday and was scheduled to check out today”. He added that Gray had “stayed at the hotel before and was remembered as being a quiet and respectful guest.”

Gray started with Slipknot when it formed in 1995. They released, in 1996, their first album, which sold over a million copies worldwide. The group has received seven Grammy award nominations and won one in 2006 for “Best Metal Performance” with "Before I Forget". Slipknot became very popular and famous for its artistic live performances and the iconic masks that all band members wore in public. Gray was known by his fans by either his band number #2 or his nickname “The Pig”. Along with drummers Joey Jordison and Shawn Crahan, Gray was one of only three original members of Slipknot that still remained in the band.

Fellow musicians paid tribute to Gray, with many of them releasing statements after his death. J.R. Siems, from the band Sound Proof Coalition, said: "everybody seemed to think he was in good health again, so it came as a big shock that this had to happen. It's pretty surreal. He had the biggest heart of anyone I knew and would give anyone the shirt off his back."

An autopsy, including toxicology reports, is due later today.