Chi Cheng: 1970 – 2013

April 13th brought us the sad passing of one of the most loved and admirable musicians of the rock industry; Chi Cheng passed away in hospital after his heart suddenly stopped. Chi was best known to be the bassist of the alternative metal band, Deftones, from Sacramento in California. He also released an impressive 25 track solo spoken word album called “The Bamboo Parachute” in 2000. Chi was known to be a very kind, down to earth man who made those around him happy too and who always made time for his fans.

Tragically, on the 4th of November 2008 Chi was involved in an automobile accident with his sister and was seriously injured. After being in a coma, Chi remained in only a partially-conscious state since the accident. He had only the ability to move his legs on command and was not able to speak in sentences or move independently.

On the 13th of April, Chi’s mother Jeanne posted on the website

“Our dearest Family,  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. With great love and “Much Respect!” Mom J (and Chi).”

Rock and metal musicians such as Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor and former Guns ‘n’ Roses guitarist Slash also paid their respects to Chi Cheng and his family. Brian Welch, former guitarist of Korn said that Chi “just might be the nicest person I’ve ever met on the planet”. Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park also recalls how Chi had a “typical, warm friendly style”. He also noted that he had fond memories of Chi on his blog, such as the time he turned up to Linkin Park’s photoshoot where he proceeded to pretend to be Chester Bennington, the lead singer.

It is clear that Chi was loved and still is loved by many people within the music industry and outside of the music industry. With Deftones being my favourite band of all time, news of his passing hit me hard so I offer my deepest condolences and love to Chi’s family, friends and the members of Deftones at this hard time.

Chi in his prime

Chi in his prime


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