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Joey Jordison, former drummer and co-founding member of Slipknot, dies at 46

Joey Jordison
(Image credit: Mick Hutson/Redferns)

Joey Jordison – former drummer and co-founder of Slipknot – has died at the age of 46, his family confirmed. A representative for the family said Jordison died "peacefully in his sleep" on Monday, but no cause of death has been specified.

"Joey’s death has left us with empty hearts and feelings of indescribable sorrow," said Jordison's family in a statement to Billboard. "To those that knew Joey, understood his quick wit, his gentle personality, giant heart and his love for all things family and music.

"The family of Joey have asked that friends, fans and media understandably respect our need for privacy and peace at this incredibly difficult time," the statement added. "The family will hold a private funeral service and asks the media and public to respect their wishes."

Jordison was living in Des Moines, Iowa in 1995 when he joined a local metal band called The Pale Ones. The band grew to be a nine-piece outfit, and, on Jordison's suggestion, changed their name to Slipknot, after one of their songs. With the help of two additional percussionists, Jordison helped the band hone a chaotically powerful, ultra-aggressive sound that played a large role in forging a new wave of American heavy metal.

Jordison remained with the masked metallers through 2013, contributing to the band's first four studio albums, including 2008's chart-topping All Hope Is Gone. In December 2013, Slipknot announced that they were "parting ways" with Jordison, for what were initially described as "personal reasons," though the drummer countered in a Facebook post that that he had been fired and was “shocked” and “blindsided.”

In 2016 though, Jordison revealed that his departure came around the same time as his contraction of a disease called transverse myelitis. “I lost my legs," he said onstage at 2016's Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards. "I couldn't play anymore. It was a form of multiple sclerosis, which I don't wish on my worst enemy.”

Outside of Slipknot, Jordison played guitar in the band Murderdolls, while also playing drums for Scar the Martyr and the death metal supergroup, Sinsaenum.

In 2018, Jordison said that he was "completely 100 percent back" from his illness. It's unclear from his family's statement whether his previous illness contributed in any way to his death.

Jackson Maxwell

Jackson is an Associate Editor at guitarworld.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.