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Tragic news this weekend: Chi Cheng, the 42-year-old longtime bassist for Deftones, died early Saturday morning. While the cause of death is unclear, Cheng had been in a coma since 2008, when the musician suffered major brain injuries stemming from a car accident that left him in a minimally conscious state. 

Cheng's family confirmed that the bassist died at approximately 3 a.m. Saturday morning and issued the following statement:

"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 [sic] 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)"

Deftones frontman Chino Moreno took to his Facebook page to post "Rest in Peace Chi Cheng."

In 2008, Cheng, who joined the group in 1988, was ejected from a car during an accident. He was forced to undergo brain surgery and remained in a coma, where his condition would vacillate between zero consciousness and a partially conscious state. In February 2012, it was reported that Cheng could move his legs on command and had been shuttled between home recovery and the hospital, though the musician never made a full recovery.

In recent years, numerous musicians and other artists have staged benefits for Cheng and the One Love for Chi foundation established to help pay for the musician's medical bills.

Cheng recorded five albums with the group, beginning with 1995's Adrenaline through 2006's Saturday Night Wrist. A spoken word album, The Bamboo Parachute, was released in 2000.

It's unclear if Deftones' upcoming shows in the U.S., Japan and Australia will be honored or rescheduled for a later date. 

Deftones - "Change (In the House of Flies)"

Deftones - "Minerva"