Jeff Hanneman of Slayer died from liver failure in his Southern California home on Thursday afternoon, celebrity news site TMZ reported.
The 49-year-old was one of the founding members of the influential metal band. He originally was trying out for another band in 1981 when he and fellow guitarist Kerry King decided to create Slayer.
According to Billboard.com the guitarist had contracted a rare skin disease two years earlier. The disease, which he most likely contracted from a spider bite, haulted Hanneman from touring with the band.
The musician was suffering from necrotizing fasciitis, a quite progressing disease that literally eats away at the flesh. It’s not known if the skin disease played a role in the guitarist’s liver failure.
The punk-inspired guitarist wrote many of the band’s most famous songs, including "Raining Blood," "War Ensemble" and "Seasons in the Abyss." The group took to Facebook on Thursday evening to issue the following statement to its fans:
“RIP Jeff Hanneman. Slayer is devastated to inform that their bandmate and brother, Jeff Hanneman, passed away at about 11AM this morning near his Southern California home. Hanneman was in an area hospital when he suffered liver failure. He is survived by his wife Kathy, his sister Kathy and his brothers Michael and Larry, and will be sorely missed. “Our Brother Jeff Hanneman, May He Rest In Peace (1964 - 2013)”
The post quickly garnerned more than 40,000 likes, over 60,000 shares and thousands more comments where people came out to share their condolences for the late rocker.
“A very sad day for music, Hanneman and Darrell will be always remember RIP,” one commented wrote.
Dimebag Darrell was the guitarist for the metal band Pantera. He was shot to death while performing onstage in December of 2004.
Another shared, “RIP brother. Hell awaits.may it rain in blood south of heaven for a season in the abyss.”
Hanneman is survived by his wife, Kathy; his sister Kathy; and his brothers, Michael and Larry.