Chi Cheng, the founding bassist of the Deftones, passed away this weekend at the age of 42, a fansite announced. Vocalist Chino Moreno also confirmed the news on his Facebook Saturday night (Deftones’ representation had not released a formal statement at time of publication).
Cheng had been in a semi-conscious state since a 2008 car wreck in Santa Clarita, Calif.; the band was recording its sixth studio album Diamond Eyes at the time. Moreno said as recently as 2012 that he hoped his bandmate would recover. Indeed, Cheng had shown improvement in recent years, including a limited ability to move his legs on command. He ultimately succumbed to his injuries at 3 a.m. Saturday morning.
Below, the full statement from Gina Blackmore at OneLoveforChi.com.
Our dearest Family, (April 14, 2013)
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 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 site 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)
Thank you to Phil and Hostgator.com for being kind enough to upgrade my server at no charge to handle the increased traffic to www.oneloveforchi.com so it won’t crash again. We appreciate it so much.
Thank you One Love Fam for your love and support.
Blackmore also announced via OneLoveforChi – which had crashed due to high traffic volume as of press time – that a candlelight vigil for Cheng was planned on Sunday night at 6:30 p.m.
Cheng co-founded the Deftones in Sacramento in 1988 alongside Moreno, guitarist Stephen Carpenter, keyboardist Frank Delgado, and drummer Abe Cunningham. (Former Quicksand bassist Sergio Vega replaced Cheng after the 2008 car accident.) The band received a Best Metal Performance Grammy in 2001 for the song “Elite” from their platinum-certified 2000 album White Pony.