Alexi Laiho, the celebrated singer-guitarist of Finnish metal group Children of Bodom, has died. He was 41. The news was confirmed by his record label, Napalm Records. The musician died at his Helsinki home last week and suffered from long-term health issues during his final years.
"It is with heavy hearts and great sadness that we have to announce the passing of Alexi Laiho," said a statement released by Napalm on behalf of Laiho's most recent band, Bodom After Midnight. "We are absolutely devastated and heartbroken for the sudden loss of our dear friend and band member."
On Children of Bodom's official Facebook page, Laiho's former bandmates Henkka T. Blacksmith (bass), Jaska Raatikainen (drums) and Janne Wirman (keyboards) paid their respects. "More than 25 years of friendship. We lost a brother. The world lost a phenomenal song writer and one of the greatest guitarists of all time," their statement reads. "Memories and Alexi's music will live forever. Our thoughts are with Alexi's family during this difficult time."
Laiho founded Children of Bodom in 1993 with Raatikainen, and from that time until the band's farewell concert in December of 2019, CoB were one of Finland's most internationally acclaimed metal acts. Following the group's breakup last year, Laiho put together Bodom After Midnight joined by CoB's newest member, guitarist Daniel Freyberg. The band recorded three songs and shot one music video, which will be released later on posthumously.
In addition to Children of Bodom, Laiho was known for acts including Warmen, Sinergy, Kylähullut and the Local Band. Particularly heralded as a virtuosic guitarist, he also notably led a group of 100 guitar players at 2015's Helsinki Festival in "100 Guitars From Hel," a massive concert piece he composed.
Laiho's family remembered him as more than a musician. His sister said in a statement, "We are all absolutely shocked and devastated. We ask for privacy and understanding during these hard times. My little brother's funeral will take place privately." Laiho's wife, Kelli Wright-Laiho, added, "Alexi was the most loving and magnificent husband and father. Our hearts are eternally broken."