Deftones Bassist Chi Cheng Passes Away at Age 42

Deftones bassist Chi Cheng passed away early Saturday morning after being in a coma and then a semi-conscious state since a car accident in 2008. He was 42.

His family posted the following statement on OneLoveForChi,com:

“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. I will write more later. I will be going through the oneloveforchi 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)” was set up by a Deftones fan to help pay medical bills. Since then, the site has become a place where fans can talk and Cheng’s family members give updates.

The Deftones have yet to make a formal statement about Cheng’s passing.

When Revolver spoke to Cheng’s brother Ming last year, he said Chi was having a difficult year after a recent period of steady progress.

Since the accident, the Deftones have released two albums. One of which, Koi No Yokan, was named Revolver‘s Album of the Year for 2012. Sergio Vega, also of Quicksand, has been filling in on bass.

Cheng cofounded the Deftones with vocalist Chino Moreno over two decades ago. He contributed to five albums including White Pony, which achieved platinum status and earned the band a Grammy for Best Metal Performance.

We send our condolences to all his friends, family, and fans. Rest in peace.


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  • matt b

    RIP Chi, you will be missed.

  • matt b

    RIP Chi, you will be missed.

  • matt b

    RIP Chi, you will be missed.

  • Chaotic_Neutral

    Sad stuff… but now his essence is free.

  • EchoedTruth

    RIP Chi, you inspired me to play bass! I will never forget you!!

  • ThomasChavers

    It really breaks my heart that Chi passed away. I wish he would have been wearing his seat belt the day of the accident. I am just glad I got see the Deftones in concert when Chi was still playing with them. I have already sent out prayers for the guys in the band, the fans, and for Chi’s family and friends. May he rest in peace!!!!