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Alternative metal bassist Chi Cheng dead at 42

By Brendan O'Brien

(Reuters) - Alternative metal bassist Chi Cheng of the Deftones has died, four years after a car accident left him a coma.

Cheng died on Saturday after being brought to a hospital emergency room, according to a website set up to raise funds for the stricken musician. He was 42.

"I know you will always remember him as a giant of a man on stage with a heart for every one of you," his mother wrote in a statement on the site. "He left this world with me singing songs he liked in his ear."

No cause of death was given on the site. It was not immediately clear where Cheng died.

Cheng was seriously injured during a head-on car collision in Santa Clara, California, in 2008. Cheng was not wearing a seat belt and was thrown from the vehicle, local media reported at the time.

"Rest in peace Chi Cheng," wrote the band's lead vocalist, Chino Moreno, on his Facebook page, where more than 2,000 messages were left by fans eulogizing Cheng.

The Deftones, an alternative metal band out of Sacramento, California, was founded in 1988. The band won a Grammy for the Best Metal Performance in 2000.

(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Edith Honan and Eric Beech)

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