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Slipknot Bassist Paul Gray Dead, Autopsy Planned, Say Iowa Police

Paul Gray from Slipknot (AP, file)
DES MOINES, Iowa (CBS/AP) Iowa police say the Grammy award-winning bassist for the metal band Slipknot was found dead Monday in a hotel room with no indication of foul play.

A hotel employee found 38 year-old Paul Gray dead in a room at the TownePlace Suites in Urbandale, a suburb of Des Moines, police said in a statement. An autopsy was planned for Tuesday.

"Paul Gray was an awesome person on and off stage. He will be missed by many including myself," Jacoby Shaddix, lead singer of metal band Papa Roach, said in a statement late Monday. "His spirit will live on through the killer music he wrote."

Gray had been staying at the hotel for "a couple days," Urbandale Sgt. Dave Disney said, declining further comment. Gray lived in the nearby suburb of Johnston.

Known for its grotesque masks, trashing sound and aggressive, dark lyrics, Slipknot released its self-titled debut in 1999, and it sold about 2 million copies. Most of the band's members grew up in the Des Moines area.

"This is a big blow, not only to the community of Des Moines, but fans of metal at large, worldwide," said Andy Hall, music director of Des Moines rock station Lazer 103.3 who said he'd known Gray for 10 years.

Slipknot emerged in the mid-1990s with an aggressive mix of heavy metal and a vocal style that included growling, rapping and singing. The band has been known for extreme behavior during live performances, including urinating and vomiting on stage, according to biographies.

The band won a Grammy in 2006 for best metal performance for the song "Before I Forget," and concert industry trade publication Pollstar ranked Slipknot 18th in its Top 20 Concert Tours list in 2009.

  • Edecio Martinez

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