[artist id=”509070″]Slipknot[/artist] bassist Paul Gray — one of the group’s founding members — was found dead in an Iowa hotel room early Monday morning (May 24), according to reports. He was 38.
The Des Moines Register reported that police were called to the TownePlace Suites hotel in Urbandale, Iowa, shortly before 11 a.m. after an employee discovered Gray’s body in a room. There was no evidence of foul play, police told the newspaper, but the investigation is ongoing and an autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday. A toxicology test will also be done to determine any contributing factors to his death.
A spokesperson for Slipknot’s label, Roadrunner Records, confirmed the report to MTV News.
Gray, better known as #2 or “The Pig” because of the mask he wore while performing with Slipknot, helped form the group in 1995, along with current members Shawn “Clown” Crahan and Joey Jordison. Though the band’s lineup shifted over the years — with members departing or switching instruments — Gray’s position within the group remained constant: He was the only bass player Slipknot ever had.
The group would release four albums, the last of which — 2008’s All Hope Is Gone — debuted at #1 on the Billboard albums chart. They spent most of the next year touring the world before taking an extended break at the end of 2009. Earlier this year, Gray announced that he would be using the time off to play with hard-riffing supergroup Hail!, featuring Tim “Ripper” Owens, Megadeth’s David Ellefson and Sepultura’s Andreas Kisser.
In 2003, Gray was arrested on drug-possession charges after police discovered small amounts of marijuana, cocaine and two syringes in his vehicle following a traffic accident in Des Moines. Those charges were eventually dropped; Gray admitted he was under the influence of drugs at the time of the accident.
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