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Deftones Bassist Chi Cheng Dies at 42

Chi Cheng
Gary Livingston, Getty Images

It is with true sadness that we report that Deftones bassist Chi Cheng passed away early Saturday morning (April 13) after a four-year battle to survive following a car crash in 2008.

The 42-year-old musician had spent most of the time since the accident in a coma, briefly showing signs of consciousness on a couple of occasions. Over the past few years, Deftones have continued to record and perform without Cheng, but had always kept the bassist close to their hearts.

Cheng was seriously hurt on Nov. 4, 2008 when a car he was traveling in with his sister Mae flipped multiple times after hitting another vehicle. His struggle over the past four years was documented by his family at the website, where the news of his death was posted by his mother on Saturday:

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 [sic] 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)

Deftones frontman Chino Moreno recently discussed the band’s relationship with Chi, telling Noisecreep, “When I was 17-years-old, I moved out of my parents’ house and moved in with him. We’ve been best friends most of my life. I’ll just be doing some random thing in my life and he’s always in my thoughts. The whole band feels very strongly about him and he’s always been a part of things.”

Back in October, Deftones invited Cheng’s son Gabe to perform with them at a show in Sacramento, Calif. Video of the performance can be seen here.

Loudwire would like to express its deepest condolences to Chi Cheng’s family, friends and bandmates during this very difficult time. One love for Chi.

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