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SLIPKNOT Bassist Paul Gray Dies Of Accidental Overdose Aged 38
May 24th, 2010

Paul Gray

Paul Gray, bassist for Des Moines, Iowa-based metal group Slipknot, died of an accidental overdose of morphine and fentanyl on May 24th, 2010 at the age of 38.

At roughly 10:50am local time, Gray was found dead in room 431 at the TownePlace Suites Hotel in Johnston, Iowa. According to one of the hotel’s proprietors, a hypodermic needle was found next to Gray’s bed, and many pills were apparently scattered across the room.

A day after Gray’s death, Slipknot’s remaining members held a news conference at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines to address the death of their bassist. Also present was Gray’s brother Tony, and his widow Brenna.

An initial autopsy determined that no foul play or trauma was involved, but ultimately couldn’t establish a cause of death. It wasn’t until June 21st that more definitive autopsy results were released, stating that the bassist had died of an overdose of morphine and fentanyl, as well as showing signs of significant heart disease.

Paul Dedrick Gray was born on April 8th, 1972 in Los Angeles, California, his family soon relocating to Des Moines, Iowa.

At the age of 17, Gray started his inaugural band in the form of VeXX, its line-up additionally boasting future Slipknot members Josh Brainard and Anders Colsefini.

VeXX was rechristened Inveigh Catharsis in 1991, although in 1993 Gray formed a more death metal-oriented outfit named Body Pit. Colsefini remained as vocalist, Gray recruiting eventual Slipknot members Mick Thomson and Donnie Steele, both on guitars.

Gray additionally pursued Anal Blast, Slipknot eventually being formed in 1995. The limited-release demo Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat. arrived in 1996, Slipknot’s self-titled debut proper arriving in 1999. US double platinum certification was achieved, as well as UK, Canadian, and Australian platinum certification. 2001’s Iowa was the last of two Slipknot affairs which saw Ross Robinson sitting in the production chair, Rick Rubin handling the role for 2004’s Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses). Fourth opus All Hope Is Gone was the first Slipknot effort to land at position one on The Billboard 200, additionally charting at that position in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Sweden, and Austria.

In addition to his Slipknot duties, Gray acted as bassist for Unida during a 2003 tour, and toured briefly with Reggie And The Full Effect. 25th anniversary Roadrunner Records project Roadrunner United surfaced in 2005, featuring Roadrunner alumni past and present. Gray’s contributions were bass on the tracks ‘The Enemy’ and ‘Baptized In The Redemption’. One month prior to his death, Gray had joined metal supergroup Hail!, which featured past and present members of the likes of Judas Priest and Sepultura.

Gray was survived by his wife Brenna as well as daughter October, who was born on August 17th – almost three months following her father’s passing.