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Alexi Laiho, 1979-2020: the guitar world pays its respects

Alexi Laiho
(Image credit: Miikka Skaffari/FilmMagic via Getty Images)

A wave of tributes have flooded in for Alexi Laiho, the Children of Bodom frontman and metal guitar virtuoso, who died at the age of 41 at the end of December 2020.

Among those paying their respects to the guitar star are Laiho's former bandmates, who wrote: "We lost a brother. The world lost a phenomenal song writer and one of the greatest guitarists of all time. Memories and Alexi's music will live forever."

Many have echoed these sentiments, with Mark Morton writing, "Alexi Laiho was a monumental talent and genuine, caring and thoughtful person. He will be greatly missed."

"He created new possibilities in extreme metal with technically sophisticated solos that held their own alongside the best in a popularized metal genre," added Alex Skolnick.

Steve Vai, who shared a Guitar World magazine cover with Laiho in April 2005, said, "He was always respectful, personable, quiet and unassuming, but then you'd hear him play and you realize that embodied in that delicate frame was a fiercely confident and monstrous guitar commander of the highest order."

More tributes can be found below, including words from Michael Amott, Kiko Loureiro, Matt Heafy, Gus G. and Marty Friedman.

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Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.