GRAMMY Winner Chi Cheng Dies

Bassist of GRAMMY-winning metal band Deftones dies at 42
  • Photo: Theo Wargo/
    Chi Cheng
April 14, 2013 -- 10:42 am PDT

Chi Cheng, bassist for the GRAMMY-winning metal band Deftones, died April 13 at age 42. Cheng had been under constant medical care for more than four years after being seriously injured in a car accident in Santa Clara, Calif., in November 2008. He underwent brain surgery and was left in a coma following the incident. Inspired by bands such Faith No More, Rage Against The Machine and Tool, Deftones were formed by guitarist Stephen Carpenter, drummer Abe Cunningham and vocalist Chino Moreno, with Cheng and keyboardist/turntablist Frank Delgado joining later. Deftones earned a dedicated following in the mid-'90s on the strength of albums such as their debut Adrenaline (1995) and Around The Fur (1997). The band's third album, 2000's White Pony, peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 and spawned the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart hits "Back To School," "Digital Bath" and "Change (In The House Of Flies)." "Elite," another track from White Pony, earned the band their first career GRAMMY for Best Metal Performance. In 2000 Cheng released The Bamboo Parachute, a solo album featuring spoken word poetry. Released in 2003, Deftones earned the band their highest-charting album, peaking at No. 2 on the Billboard 200. The band subsequently released Saturday Night Wrist (2006) and Diamond Eyes (2010). For the latter album, Cheng was replaced by bassist Sergio Young. While Cheng partially regained consciousness in 2012 and returned home to recover, he was unable to participate on the band's seventh studio album, 2012's Koi No Kan. "The music industry has lost a proud and passionate performer all too soon," said Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow, "and our sincerest condolences go out to his family, his bandmates, and his fans worldwide who are mourning his untimely and unfortunate passing."

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