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Paul Gray (Slipknot) April 8, 1972 – May 24, 2010
Paul Gray, co-founder, bassist, and songwriter of
band Slipknot, was also known as #2 and The Pig. Gray was born on April 8, 1972 in Iowa Los Angeles, California but later relocated to . In 1995, he helped form the band Slipknot and was one of the three remaining original members when he passed away in May of 2010. Des Moines, Iowa
As Slipknot's bassist, Gray was the only member who remained in the same role in the band for the entire time that he was a member. He also sang back up vocals for some of Slipknot’s songs, especially when lead singer Corey Taylor’s voice and throat got tired and hoarse. He was well known for his pig face mask, thus the nickname The Pig, and the black death mask he occasionally also wore.
In addition to Slipknot, Gray was also in VeXX, Body Pit, and Anal Blast and has toured with Unida and Reggie and the Full Effect as a substitute bassist. Albums released by Slipknot include Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat (1996), Slipknot (1999),
(2001), Vol. 3 The Subliminal Verses (2004), 9.0: Live (2005) and All Hope Is Gone (2008). Personally, Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat. is my favorite since it was the very first Slipknot album I ever heard and it was one of the first 5 metal albums I heard, leading to my current status as a metalhead. Iowa
Known for his awesome stage presence and amazing charisma both on and off stage, Gray was an icon in the metal world. His death on May 24th, 2010 in a hotel room in Des Moines, Iowa shook up the metal world, leaving many of us wondering if The Nine would ever be the same without him, or if Slipknot would even continue. Autopsy reports later confirmed that his death was caused by an accidental overdose of morphine and fentanyl and he also had signs of significant heart disease. Gray had a history of drug problems, including an arrest after a car accident in June 2003.
No matter what the cause of death, the loss of Paul Gray was devastating to his family, his fans, and his brothers in Slipknot. Even the band Mushroomhead, which had a long standing feud with Slipknot, stepped up to express their sadness and ask for an end to the feud. Former Slipknot guitarist Donnie Steele has stepped up to try to fill #2’s shoes as the touring bassist beginning in 2011. I haven’t seen Slipknot since the loss of Paul Gray, but hopefully will have the chance soon. One man doesn’t make the band and I love this band, but I’m sure it won’t ever be quite the same.
See the video below of the press conference with Slipknot following Paul Gray's death.
Check out Slipknot's website here.